The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday said the Federal Government could not threaten its members with salary stoppage in order to force them to enrol for the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System.
The union also alleged that some vice-chancellors were forcing lecturers to register for the IPPIS, which it had rejected.
The Federal Government had on Wednesday said university lecturers were enrolling for the IPPIS despite the opposition of ASUU.
The Coordinator of the IPPIS in the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Olusegun Olufehinti, said, “The salary is personal and if that is the case, then we expect everyone that wants to be paid to enrol because that will be the only basis you can get your salary.”
But in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, the ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, accused some vice-chancellors of meddling in its struggle against the IPPIS. He said overzealous VCs were “forcing lecturers to be captured on the platform.”
He said, “On the issue of non-payment of salaries, when we get to that bridge, we will cross it. The issue of salaries or no salaries is not new to us in this struggle. We have been threatened a number of times on non-payment of salaries. So if anybody wants to frighten ASUU, it is not with salaries. So we have gone beyond that. We believe that our principles and focus are more important than all these threats.”
ASUU added that its team would soon complete work on an alternative platform which the Senate was expecting the union to come and demonstrate before it.
He said, by the time the union put forward its model, the fears of the government would be allayed and the university system preserved.
Ogunyemi had on Sunday said the Federal Government needed to test its (the union’s) model of ensuring financial transparency rather than forcing its members to register for the IPPIS, which started on Monday and would end on December 7.
The ASUU president said, “On the IPPIS, our members are complying with our directive, except for few places where some vice-chancellors forcefully imposed the IPPIS on them, blackmailing and even causing division among our ranks. We have some of those universities where they are trying to impose the IPPIS on them. The VCs caused divisions and ill-feelings among our members. We think this matter does not concern them because if they actually understand the argument, they will know we are actually fighting for the interests of the system and not for ourselves.