The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has threatened to declare nationwide industrial action over alleged irregularities observed in the payment of February salaries to its members by the federal government via the use of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
This is coming hours after the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) withdrew its support for the payment system, advising the government to either urgently address its concerns or revert to the use of the abandoned Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
It would be recalled that, a week ago, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a two-week warning strike over similar matters, while members of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) also withdrew their services on Tuesday amidst rampaging coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
NASU, which comprises junior workers across the nation’s universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and monotechnics, among others, said its earlier support for the payment system was based on the government’s promises to take into consideration the peculiarities of the workers.
The union has, therefore, sought an audience with the office of the director in charge of the IPPIS in the office of the accountant general of the federation, for an amicable settlement.
In a letter addressed to the IPPIS director, a copy of which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the union said its leadership would like to meet the director on March 25 by 12 noon to address the differences.
The letter, which was signed by the union’s general secretary, Peter Adeyemi, with copies sent to the education minister, Adamu Adamu; his labour counterpart, Chris Ngige, among others, noted that failure to address the issues raised urgently would lead to the withdrawal of services across campuses nationwide.
The letter reads in part; “The purpose of the audience is in connection with the payment of February 20202 salary to NASU members in the federal universities and inter-university centres, federal polytechnics and federal colleges of education on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
“We wish to express our disappointment over the haphazard payment of the February 2020 salaries to our members. In fact, the abysmal implementation of IPPIS in the above-named institutions has brought untold hardship to our members.
“We observed with a shock that in an attempt to save money for the federal government, your office decided to shortchange our members by the haphazard nature of the implementation. This no doubt has made our union a laughing stock and subject of mockery and ridicule by those who opposed IPPIS implementation ab-initio.”
The union has, therefore, notified the government that the outcome of the meeting would determine whether its members would commence a seven-day warning strike on Monday, March 30, or not. It, however, advised its members to be prepared for the strike action.
University lecturers (ASUU) had, since last week, embarked on a two weeks warning strike. They had their first meeting with the federal government last Thursday but it did not yield any positive results.
Another meeting was held Tuesday with participants expressing confidence the controversy would be resolved soon.
ASUU has urged its members not to register with the IPPIS while the government last month halted payment of salaries to the lecturers.
Meanwhile, the leadership of SSANU is scheduled to meet with the representatives of the office of the accountant general of the federation today to appraise the situation.
The meeting, which, according to the national public relations officer of the union, Abdusobur Salaam, is scheduled to hold by 11 a.m., will review the union’s concerns with a view to quickly address them.
He said; “As I am talking to you, the leadership of SSANU is on its way to the IPPIS office for a meeting. The team is led by our president, Comrade Sam Ugwoke, and we hope the outcome will be fruitful.”
“That is all I can say for now.”
Source: Premium Times