There are indications that some members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities are enrolling for the Integrated Personnel Payroll Integrated System (IPPIS) contrary to the directive of the union.
Investigations by The PUNCH on Wednesday revealed that institutions where lecturers were registering for the IPPIS included the University of Calabar and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
ASUU had last month opposed the IPPIS despite the Federal Government’s directive that any worker that failed to register for it would not be paid his December salary.
The union directed its members not to enrol for the IPPIS, which the Federal Government said was aimed at fighting corruption through payment of salaries to each employee’s bank account.
But ASUU wondered why the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service and a few other agencies were not on the IPPIS.
But on Wednesday, the Federal Government said the agencies were not on the platform because they were revenue generating entities. It said 937,000 workers had registered for the IPPIS.
The IPPIS registration started in universities on November 25 and ends on December 7.
UNN staff register
At the UNN, it was observed that workers were registering for the IPPIS, despite ASUU’s opposition.
It was reliably gathered that some ASUU members had joined non-academic staff unions in the enrolment on both the Enugu and Nsukka campuses.
A worker of the university, who didn’t want his name mentioned, told one of our correspondents that members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities , Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the National Association of Academic Technologists were the first to come out for enrolment before ASUU members started joining them.
Some UNICAL lecturers register
Also at UNICAL, it was gathered that some ASUU members had been sneaking to the IPPIS registration area to enrol for the scheme.
A source said, “The exercise has been highly successful. Many lecturers have been sneaking into the venue to register.”
When the Chairman of ASUU in UNICAL, Dr John Edor, was contacted, he said there were only few isolated cases.
He said, “They are not sneaking. No ASUU member is sneaking. If the people are sneaking, I am not a witch to discover that. But I tell you on good authority that we have very high level compliance (boycott). What you may find is a situation like Faculty of Agriculture where we have about 140 lecturers and only two lecturers defaulted. You have those isolated instances. On a general note, we are coasting away with about 98 per cent victory.”
Confusion in UNIPORT, security guards disrupt ASUU meeting
There was confusion at the Delta Park axis of the University of Port Harcourt on Wednesday as ASUU members were stopped from holding their congress inside their secretariat.
The meeting, which was slated for 2pm (Wednesday) could not hold as the ASUU, UNIPORT branch secretariat was barricaded by some uniformed men suspected to be the institution’s security guards.
The blocking of the entrance to the ASUU secretariat, it was learnt, forced over 150 members of ASUU, who came for the aborted meeting and other persons, who came to witness the situation, to be trapped on the road along the Delta Park section of the institution.
The situation had halted vehicular movement temporarily as motorists had to come out of their vehicles to find out why the road was blocked.
One of ASUU members, Dr. Sunday Edum, and a member of the National Youth Service Corps were said to have been arrested by security guards of the university and taken to Choba Divisional Police Station.
Both the lecturer and NYSC member were later released after several hours at the police station.
Recall that the UNIPORT authorities and the branch of ASUU had been at daggers drawn over the sack of a lecturer, Prof. Frank Uguimoh, just as a press conference organised by the union was disrupted last week Wednesday by a group of students.
A statement signed by ASUU, UNIPORT Branch Chairman, Dr. Austen Sado, the Secretary, Dr. O.F. Ndioho, and obtained by our correspondent, claimed that the disruption of the union’s congress was masterminded by the university administration.
Reacting, UNIPORT spokesman, Dr William Wodi, dismissed the claim that there was terror on campus, adding that if there was any form of lawlessness, it was instigated by ASUU.
Wodi told our correspondent that the secretariat was locked up because both ASUU and a breakaway group from the union known as Congress of University Academics planned to hold meetings at the secretariat on the same day, adding that the vice chancellor was preventing a breakdown of law and order at the ASUU secretariat.
UNIPORT said that IPPIS officials in the university would end the registration of its staff on December 7, 2019.
The Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, Prof. Deji Omole, in a statement on Wednesday in Ibadan, stated that it was unfortunate that vice chancellors had become errand boys of the AGF.
Omole maintained that the union had made useful suggestions to the Federal Government but stated that Nigerian intellectuals would not be turned to errand boys. Punch