The battle of wits between the Federal Authorities and the Tutorial Employees Union of Universities (ASUU) over the Built-in Payroll and Personnel Info System (IPPIS) might quickly come to an finish, with the current compromise that appears to be shut at hand.
Despite the fact that the Accountant Normal of the Federation, Ahmed Idris is being ferociously attacked by the management of ASUU over his insistence on the complete implementation of the IPPIS throughout the board, the Workplace of the Accountant Normal of the Federation (OAGF), the place IPPIS is domiciled, can also be answerable for all receipts into and funds from the Federation and Consolidated Accounts.
The IPPIS was launched in 2007 to supply correct and dependable information on personnel within the public service, for the aim of budgeting for recurrent expenditures and different challenges. The scheme is a type of identification system administration geared toward offering a centralised database to assist private planning and decision-making, together with the automated storage of personnel information to help workers enrolment and monitoring, in addition to to stop wastage and leakages on the premise of factual personnel information and knowledge.
A number of the options of the IPPIS are the information that it captures facial photos and fingerprints of presidency staff and shops them in a digitalised data-based library, which might be accessed with authorisation from wherever.
President Muhammadu Buhari has at all times been captivated with IPPIS, a lot that in his 2020 funds speech, he directed that each one Federal Authorities employees have to be enlisted within the scheme.
Throughout a presentation of the Medium Time period Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Technique Paper (MTEF/FSP) in September 2019, the Finance Minister, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, introduced the deadline of October of the identical 12 months for all federal ministries, departments and businesses (MDAs) of presidency to enroll their workers on the IPPIS platform. She insisted that based mostly on a presidential directive, workers members who weren’t captured on the automated payroll system wouldn’t be paid their salaries.
At a gathering with vice-chancellors, registrars and bursars of federal universities on the Nationwide Universities Fee Auditorium in Abuja in June 2019, the AGF, Ahmed Idris, advised these senior college officers that the centralised payroll can be ready by particular person universities however coordinated by means of the IPPIS, whereas the full administration of the human sources concerned additionally rests squarely with the colleges.
At subsequent conferences with the management of university-based unions, together with ASUU, NASU, SSANU and NAAT in the identical venue, Idris assured that the IPPIS platform would accommodate all monetary peculiarities pertaining to school workers, together with these involving sabbaticals, visitations, honoraria and different earned allowances. He added that deductions for the Nationwide Housing Fund (NHF), Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Scheme (NHIS) Verify-off and different dues from workers can be remitted to the suitable accounts when due.
Whereas interesting to them, AGF mentioned the college neighborhood, being the bedrock of data manufacturing and the centre of reforms that has at all times striven for probity, transparency and accountability, in the direction of good governance, would contribute tremendously in bringing to bear all such distinctive qualities within the implementation of IPPIS.
In his remarks through the conferences, the Govt Secretary of the Nationwide Universities Fee (NUC) and the host, Professor Abubakar Rasheed mentioned the IPPIS scheme would engender transparency, accountability and probity in authorities expenditure, in addition to centralise the payroll methods that will handle challenges affecting the nation’s public universities.
The ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, at one of many conferences, expressed the worry that if applied, IPPIS may erode college autonomy and the powers of College Councils.
Probably what provoked the anger of lecturers with the AGF was when he allegedly issued a letter dated December 2, 2019, advising vice-chancellors that universities which weren’t but enrolled on the IPPIS ought to accomplish that promptly or face applicable sanctions.
Many ASUU members appeared very livid with the menace. In a response, Professor Deji Omole, the ASUU chairman on the College of Ibadan, mentioned it was unlucky that vice-chancellors had now develop into errand boys who have been being threatened by “an account clerk”.
In the meantime, in rejecting IPPIS, Professor Ogunyemi thought of it flawed for universities to undertake a cost platform that was not designed for the peculiarities of their system. In keeping with him, the platform doesn’t recognise the negotiated agreements that had been reached on allowances that weren’t tutorial in nature, and people regarding analysis journals, amongst others.
Some lecturers additionally identified that IPPIS is a one-line wage scale, during which taxes are even being deducted from allowances. As a substitute for IPPIS, ASUU produced and beneficial the adoption of the College Transparency Account System (UTAS), thought to be a sturdy software program resolution that will be delicate to the distinctiveness of the college system in addressing personnel info and cost system, amongst different issues.
It’s gathered that the UTAS platform has been despatched to the Nationwide Info Expertise Growth Company (NITDA) for integrity checks to confirm its efficacy and confirm that the ultimate product would go the mandatory technical necessities.
Throughout current closed-door conferences, the AGF appealed to ASUU executives to comply with obtain their salaries by means of the IPPIS platform, pending when the UTAS will probably be prepared to be used after the integrity checks on it have been concluded. The Union is claimed to have rejected these pleas by arguing that the performance of the IPPIS was not demonstrated to them earlier than authorities began utilizing it for employees, whereas equally questioning why the calls for for the adoption of the UTAS grew to become the premise for the stoppage of their salaries.
It’s heart-warming that after in depth negotiations and foot-dragging, the Federal Authorities has lastly accepted the demand of ASUU that its members be exempted from the IPPIS.
Despite the fact that 697 ministries, departments and businesses of presidency (MDAs) and 1,139,000 workers, together with these of the Nigerian Police, para-military and army institution have been enrolled on the IPPIS as at June, the Labour Minister, Senator Chris Ngige knowledgeable the general public final week, that the federal government has additionally agreed to ASUU’s demand to pay the wage arrears of its members, from February to June, by means of GIFMIS, the outdated cost platform, till UTAS is prepared to be used. The federal government equally has agreed to carry the ‘no work, no pay’ coverage, which necessitated the withholding of the salaries of hanging lecturers within the first place.
Whereas I pray and hope that the deadlock between the Federal Authorities and ASUU can be resolved as quickly as potential, regardless of the eventual winner on this disaster, Nigerian youths, particularly the scholars in public universities are the massive losers, losing eight-month at house, moderately than being productively engaged of their citadels of studying.
I want the accomplishments of the AGF within the final 5 years is not going to be rubbished or trivialised by sure unresolved points. Despite the fact that the Federal Authorities prolonged his tenure for one more 4 years in June 2019, I consider that it’s nevertheless even handed to exit a scene when the ovation is loudest, particularly because the AGF clocked the age of 60 on November 25, 2020.
The document of achievements and particular interventions of Ahmed Idris, a chartered accountant and authorized fraud examiner, on worthy causes, are fairly quite a few. Underneath his management, the Workplace of the Accountant-Normal of the Federation (OAGF) profitable applied a variety of far-reaching reforms in public finance administration (PFM), together with the introduction of the IPPIS and the treasury single account (TSA); the adoption of the Worldwide Public Sector Accounting Customary (IPSAS), the Authorities Built-in Monetary Administration Info System (GIFMIS) and the Belongings Monitoring Administration Venture (ATMP); alongside the transformation of the Federal Treasury Academy, amongst others.
I’ll attraction to the Federal Authorities and ASUU to position the pursuits of the nation and people of younger Nigerian college students, who’ve skilled a really disturbing disruption of their schooling to this point, above all different concerns, as they transfer ahead in ending the continuing deadlock. Might the very best selections for the last word good of the general public prevail.
Yushau A. Shuaib