Posted by Rose Ejembi, Makurdi | 14 December 2019 | 941 times
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that it is not going back on its determination to reject the planned enrollment of its members on Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
ASUU’s President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi who stated this in a chat with newsmen after an interaction with its members at the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM), on Friday, accused the Federal Government of trying, through IPPIS, to over-localise Nigerian universities and take them back to the core Civil Service.
“What IPPIS is out to do is to take universities back to the core civil service. We fought that under the military way back in 1992. In fact, the first law that led to autonomy that we are talking about was signed 1993.
“Our negotiations with federal government since 1992 has always had this component of any circular that is inconsistent with the university autonomy to the extent of its inconsistency will be null and void.
“So, that is to clear the line between the core civil service and universities. The universities are meant to be governed by their laws. The Head of Service is not the employer of universities academic staff.
“In fact, under the military, they sacked some of our senior comrades. People like late Prof. Iyayi and the thing was tested in court. The then Head of State, a military president gave directive that Iyayi should be sacked and that matter was taken up to the Supreme Court and he defeated the military government.
“And government pronounced at the Supreme Court that governing councils are the employers of universities academics. So, to that extent, we are convinced that we are on the right track.
“The employers of universities academics are their governing councils and not the Head of Service. Universities are not part of civil service and there is nowhere in the world where such practice as they are trying to impose on us in Nigeria obtains.
“And we have sited this example before. Ghana at some point, introduced IPPIS but later they excluded the universities because they know it would not work.
“What they (FG) are trying to do in Nigeria is to over-localize us (ASUU) but universities are international learning and research environments. We are now in the age of internationalisation. That is why people talk about global ranking of universities; they don’t talk of local ranking of universities.
“It would be an anathema for us to allow government to over localize us. To buy into IPPIS means we are surrendering the autonomy of the universities which is highly cherished all over the world.”
Asked what would happen if the federal government makes good its promise to stop salaries of universities lecturers who refuse to enroll on the IPPIS scheme, the ASUU President said the union would have no other option than to activate it’s resolution on ‘no salary no work’.
He said the information making the rounds that some of its members were secretly enrolling on the IPPIS is not totally correct stressing that the number of its members who may have betrayed its cause was very insignificant.
“The information making the rounds is not totally correct about the number of our members who are betraying the cause of ASUU. I can tell you authoritatively that in this branch (ASUU-FUAM), those who have registered against the wish of the Union are less than 15.
“If you have over 700 members in a branch and you have less than 15 going against the wish of the Union, we can say the number is insignificant. But more importantly, our union has a way of handling matters like that when you work again the directive of the Union.
“We have our own procedure of handling matters by taking them through the procedure for handling disciplinary issues. And that is what we are going to do in this matter. (The Sun)
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