The Federal Government has directed bursars of public universities to compile and send a list of challenges associated with the payment of university workers through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Various unions in the university system have complained about multiple taxation, deductions, among others, since their members agreed to join the IPPIS platform, leading to threats of industrial action.
But Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige assured the unions that the lapses observed in the IPPIS platform would be addressed.
Ngige said he had spoken with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF).
The minister stressed that the government had communicated with university bursars to correct certain peculiarities they observed in the payroll system and send their feedback to the Office of the AGF and the Finance Minister for amendments.
According to him, the government has received the strike notice from non-teaching workers’ unions in universities and is making efforts to meet with the leaderships of the unions.
Ngige said his office will apply for a special pass from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for a physical meeting with the unions to address all the contentious issues they have raised so far.
But the Joint Action Committee (JAC), which comprises the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU), said the government does not need to call a meeting before paying its members their full salaries and release their payment slips.
SSANU President Samson Ugwoke said the JAC had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to correct the anomalies associated with the new payroll system.
He urged the government to release the union members’ Earned Allowances before the easing of the lockdown, adding that the members would not resume duty when schools resume, if government fails to pay them.
Ngige said: “We are on top of the situation; we have received their letter. Their letter borders on shortcomings of the IPPIS system. I have spoken with the Finance Minister and the Accountant General of the Federation and they said they are in touch with the university bursars to correct certain peculiarities and send back to them to treat.
“However, it’s important to point out that one of the shortcomings, which the university workers pointed out, is that the IPPIS is over-taxing them and that IPPIS skipped some of their people who have taken leave of absence, and the rest of them.”