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ASUU strike looms as Buhari govt stops lecturers’ salaries

The Federal Government has stopped the payment of salaries of higher institution lecturers yet to enroll in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

A letter from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation dated January 23, 2020 and addressed to the Minister of Finance and National Planning, requested the stoppage of the release of funds for the payment of salaries of the affected academic staff.

The letter was titled ‘Request for Stoppage of Release of Funds for January Salaries to Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education

It read: “I am directed to inform you that preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and warrants of the federal tertiary institutions are ongoing and will be ready for submission on or before 29th of January, 2020.

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“This is to give effect of the directive of the Federal Government that all ministries, departments or agencies drawing personnel cost from the Consolidated Revenue Fund should be enrolled on the IPPIS.

“In order to actualise this directive, you are please requested not to release the funds for payment of salaries to tertiary institutions as their salaries will henceforth be paid on the IPPIS platform with effect from January, 2020.

”There are indications that ASUU may embark on an industrial action over the development as it had repeatedly warned the government against making IPPIS compulsory.

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Recall that the Academic Staff Union Universities recently dismissed suggestions that the Buhari government would stop its lecturers’ salaries.

Its President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a statement in Abuja, said that rumours to that effect circulated in the social media were fake.

He added that ASUU was committed to its tradition of consultation and dialogue which informed the engagement with President Buhari last week.

The statement read: “To put the record straight, at no point during the meeting did President Buhari put a closure to the ongoing discussion on ASUU’s preference for the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

“He also did not direct that salaries of ASUU members be stopped for failure to enroll in the IPPIS. Any report to the contrary is circulated to mislead the public.

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“We had useful discussions with the President and we are hopeful that our prayers will receive the expected prompt attention.”

Written by Olajire Taofeeq

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