The honourable Minister for Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has stated that the exclusion of the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), is a temporary measure, pending the conclusion of integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.
The minister made the clarification
He denied insinuations that government had excluded ASUU on the IPPIS platform.
“I think it is better because a lot of people are quoting us out of context, saying we abandoned the IPPIS and that we said they should not be on IPPIS; it is not true.
“What we said in the meeting and what we agreed was that, in the interim, for the transition period, UTAS is being tested by the NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) and the Office of National Security Adviser for cyber security.
“For that transition period, ASUU members that are not yet on IPPIS will be paid through the platform with which they were paid the President’s compassionate COVID-19 payment done to them between the months of February and June.
“That platform is a hybrid platform between IPPIS and GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System) platform for the transition period. That was what was used; it’s a hybrid.”
The former Anambra state governor explained that the reason for reaching that position was that no government payment would be done outside the IPPIS platform.
“So, there is a handshake between IPPIS and GIFMIS platform and that was what was used in paying them for that period and so we are going to continue with that until UTAS undergoes all the integrity and cybersecurity tests and it is confirmed for use, ” he added.
Also commenting on the N65bn offer made to ASUU, the minister said, prior to the Friday meeting, the government made an aggregate offer of N50bn to the union.
According to him, “The offer made was clear. You can understand it this way. Prior to the meeting of yesterday (Friday), government brought an aggregate offer of N50bn to ASUU; N20bn for revitalisation, to show good faith that government is still with them on the issue of funding for revitalisation and pending the affirmation of the new sources of funding public education.
“There is a committee on that and the committee is working on sourcing new education funds; it is a NEEDS committee.
“So, pending that NEEDS committee effecting a new funding source and strategy, government offered them N20bn for revitalisation, apart from the funds that are coming from TETFUNDS that is also used for revitalisation. They refused the N20bn and said they wanted N110bn, which was 50 per cent of a tranche,” Ngige explained.