ABUJA, Nigeria – Against the backdrop of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) controversy between the Accountant General of the Federation and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, has expressed frustration over agreements, which government entered into with ASUU previously without implementation.
Speaking in Abuja on Monday when ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi-led a delegation on a courtesy call to National Assembly, Lawan wondered how government would enter into agreement with ASUU under pressure, saying that the development has created more problems than solving it.
Lawan was reacting to the disclosure of unenforced series of agreements ASUU entered with the Federal Government since 1992.
“I have been part of Committee on Education since 2005 when I was in the House of Representatives and since I became a Senator, I have always been a member of Committee on Education and Tertiary Institutions.
“I know several agreements government entered, which they know they cannot enforce. Why would somebody enter agreement you know you cannot implement because of pressure?”
Meanwhile, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, insisted that Nigerian University would not join IPPIS, saying that it contradicts the tertiary institutions’ accounting system as well as extant laws guiding Nigerian higher institutions.
He said, the IPPIS was a World Bank initiative which was meant to stagnate the nation’s economy.
Extrapolating numerous challenges, Universities would face if IPPIS was allowed, Ogunyemi said:
“It should be noted that IPPIS is not a home-grown initiative, rather it is a prescription of the World Bank, which ultimate consequence is to create anarchy and therefore, retard the growth and development of Nigeria.
“The challenges it poses for Civil Service are part of the World Bank Scheme and would never go away.
“In its current form, the IPPIS does not capture the peculiarities of the structure of the establishment of the University system which is flexible and pragmatic.”
Prof. Ogunyemi further explained that it was a global standard for academic institutions to regulate it’s financial structure through its governing Councils.
He urged the Federal government to learn from the neighbouring Ghana which enjoys academic autonomy, adding that centralizing the payroll would contradict the principle of academic autonomy.