Regina Otokpa, Abuja
The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), has criticised Federal Government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and called for the immediate adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (UTAS).
President of COEASU, Dr. Smart Olugbeko in a text released to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that unlike the many inconsistencies, unilateral manipulations, baseless deductions and irregularities trailing the IPPIS, the UTAS has proven to be a better payment system which addresses the concerns and peculiarities of the tertiary education system in general.
He said: “IPPIS breaches the establishment integrity of the tertiary institutions system, undermines the statutory functions of the Governing Councils, and opens the payroll up to unilateral manipulations.
“Within a short time after its unilateral imposition on tertiary institutions by the FG in February 2020, academic Unions’ opposition to it was vindicated as the IPPIS pay platform engendered several irregularities, such as salary omission, accommodation of ghost workers, mutilated salary, and inconsistency in payment of salary of staff on sabbatical and study leaves.
“The payment system also enables the FG to impose baseless deductions under the guise of a new tax regime shrouded in calculative mysteries at the detriment of our members.
“Thus, the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) commends the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for living up to its pedigree as a Union of intellectuals and eggheads as it came up with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative to the controversial IPPIS. UTAS, being a home-grown and hack-proof payment system, addresses our concerns on payroll security and the peculiarities of the tertiary education system in general.
“After due considerations, our Union, COEASU, does not only welcome UTAS, but also posits that UTAS should, indeed, be adopted for the entire tertiary education sector as it takes care of the peculiarities of the institutions including financial autonomy, sabbatical service, and the administration of discipline.
“This great feat is enough for FG to give kudos to ASUU for providing a home-grown solution to the problem of payment system in the country and quickly adopt it for payment, rather the FG resorted to blackmailing of ASUU and UTAS. Who is afraid of UTAS? The answer is simple, the beneficiaries who do not want UTAS, not because it is inadequate, but because it will reveal the holes in the operationalisation of IPPIS.
“We call on the Federal Government to drop its ego, accept UTAS as a payment solution in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria whose functions and structure are different from the mainstream ministries.”