The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has expressed strong displeasure over the irregularities witnessed in the payment of February salaries for its members using the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The Association expressed its view in a statement signed by Mr Salaam Olayiwola, SSANU National Public Relations Officer, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
According to Olayiwola, IPPIS is government payment platform, which we keyed into, with the understanding that the platform would greatly improve personnel accountability in the system thereby reducing the spate of corruption in our universities.
“Kindly recall that we keyed into the IPPIS with an understanding that all the peculiarities in the University system, particularly pertaining to our members would be adequately addressed.
“Also, especially the issues of allowances, appointments, increments and third party deductions among others.
“Various concerns were raised and our fears were allayed through various correspondences, meetings and practical sessions where the application was displayed and all issues brought forward were addressed, ” he said.
He explained that it was only after exhausting all queries and getting satisfactory answers that the union and its Joint Action Committee counterpart Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, decided to key into the platform in the overall interest of the system and its members.
Olayiwola added that it was shocking to them that their first real taste of the IPPIS application was totally different from what was presented. All the concerns raised by their unions were not implemented and disregarded.
He said apart from the breach of trust, which had now manifested, the members across the universities were groaning from various anomalies witnessed in their salaries thereby forcing them into great hardships “which they never bargained for when they keyed into the IPPIS.
“As a leadership, this is totally unacceptable!
“The recent development has once again shown, despite our attempts to test otherwise, that Government can never be trusted.
“As such, based on what we have been subjected to with the February salary, we do not blame our lecturer counterparts, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), for resisting the IPPIS from the beginning.
“It is on the strength of the above that we demand that the office of the Accountant General of the Federation reverts us to the GIFMIS platform, which was working seamlessly before IPPIS was introduced.
“It is getting clearer that our trust in government and its agencies on the IPPIS issue was clearly misplaced, ” he said.
He, however, added that an understanding had been reached with ASUU to integrate the ASUU proposed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the IPPIS.
“While we place on record, the right of ASUU to reach an understanding with the government on this hybrid payment platform, we note that this can only be implemented for ASUU members as at today and if it is to be implemented across board.
“It must be with the consent of the other university based unions; having keyed into the IPPIS project and gotten an unsavory first taste, we shall not accept any other payment platform, which does not carry us along.
“If UTAS is a general University payment platform, we must be guaranteed that its features accommodate the peculiar needs and challenges of the non-teaching staff in the system.
“If this is not guaranteed, the hybrid application shall be rejected in totality by our members.
“We demand that Government immediately looks into the anomalies witnessed in the February 2020 salary payments through the IPPIS platform and ensure rectification of these anomalies because the situation as at today cannot guarantee industrial peace in the system,” he said.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Felix Ajide
Petition: Unions pass vote of confidence on VC
The Joint Action Committee and Congress (JAC) of the Federal University, Gusau in Zamfara, has passed a vote of confidence on the Vice-Chacellor, Prof. Magaji Garba.
Garba recently came under attack by a group of concerned staff of the university.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Information Officer of the institution, Mr. Umar Usman and made available to newsmen in Gusau on Sunday
Usman stated that the JAC comprised the university’s branches of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
According to him, the four bodies “dissociated themselves from a petition written on the University’s Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration and Internal Council Members representing the Senate of the University.
“The chairmen of the four unions have in a communique issued after their emergency meeting on Thursday, 17th September, 2020 affirmed the stand of the unions on the issue of a petition claimed to have been written by the concerned members of the University staff,” the statement added.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on Aug.5, a group from the institution referred to as “Concerned Persons,” had in a petition addressed to the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education, urged the National Assembly to look into their grievances in order to save the university from collapse.
The petition titled “Petition about the Systematic Corruption and Abuse of Office against the Vice Chancellor/Chief Executive, Prof. Magaji Garba of the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State,” was signed on behalf of the group by N.S.Danbala Esq.
It cited among others that the vice-chancellor had arrogated all powers of running the university to himself and needed the institution’s records to be put straight before the vice-chancellor completes his term.
The petitioners also alleged that the vice-chancellor had caused “huge loses on the university funds due to illegal award of contracts”.
“The University Council has earlier ratified recommendations of an Investigation Committee which found the VC guilty of corruption, disregard to due process bribery, financial misappropriation, illegal staff recruitment, divide and rule tactics and illegal deals,” the petitioners added.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Maharazu Ahmed
Unilag ASUU advises FG on appointment of pro chancellors
The Unilag Chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has advised the Federal Government that only persons with interest in public education should be appointed Pro Chancellors.
Dr Dele Ashiru, the Chairman of the chapter, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos against the backdrop of resignation of Dr Wale Babalakin, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of Unilag.
NAN reports that the Federal Government, had on Aug. 21, directed both Babalakin and the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, to recuse themselves from official duties in Unilag.
The development was to allow for the outcome of a special visitation panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the lingering crisis between the institution’s governing council and the Senate.
Babalakin, however, tendered his resignation letter to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, immediately after the visitation panel submitted its report on Sept. 17
Babalakin’s resignation letter cited disagreement with the Federal Government on the visitation panel sent to the university, among other claims.
According to the Unilag ASUU boss, the departure of the former pro chancellor will pave way for academic stability in the university.
He said that his constant interference in the daily affairs of the institution by the pro chancellor had constituted a set back to the peace and progress enjoyed by the university community.
‘I feel the sudden resignation of the former pro chancellor is a welcome development.
”We thank the Visitor to the university, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, for the timely intervention in ending dictatorship and high handedness in our dear university.
”My advice to the Federal Government is to be more circumspect in appointing pro chancellors in federal universities.
”It should ensure that only those with interest of public education at heart should be so appointed.
”Babalakin should understand that his resignation cannot atone for the many set backs his activities has caused the institution,” he said.
The unionist said that with the voluntary resignation of Babalakin, the university would begin to regain its lost glory.
”We are convinced that with the support of all other stakeholders, the institution will bounce back to the path of peace, progress and academic excellence for which the university is renowned,” Ashiru said
NAN reports that Mr John Momoh, Chief Executive Officer, Channels Television, has since been appointed as acting pro chancellor of the university pending the outcome of the report of the panel.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Tajudeen Atitebi
UI VC Race: Candidates make pledges to UI community
Candidates vying for the position of Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan (UI) have made presentations and stepped up consultations, preparatory to the final appointment of a new occupant of the post.
The candidates made various pledges to the premier university community on Thursday, as they met stakeholders and other members of the community at a forum tagged: “One Cap; 18 heads.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the UI Community Forum 2020 was organised by the five unions in the institution.
In his remarks, Chairman of the event, Amb. Yemi Farounbi, a former Nigeria Ambassador to the Philippines, commended those who participated in the struggle for university autonomy in Nigeria.
“Their struggle culminated immensely in the management of universities in Nigeria; one of them is the amendment to Section 3a and b of Acts No. 11 of 1993.
“By this amendment the university council now selects and appoints the vice chancellor and only informs the Visitor of the university.
“With this amendment, the university acquired full rights to hire and fire its vice chancellor, who doubles as the Chief Executive Officer as well as the Chief Accounting Officer,” Farounbi said.
He also commended those who gave birth to the idea of the University Community Forum in 2000 as a way of democratising the process of appointing a vice chancellor.
Farounbi enjoined the next vice chancellor of the institution to rise above the contemporary contradictions and ineptitude to offer fresh opportunities for building a greater Nigeria.
“That is the challenge a vice chancellor of this great university must embrace.
“The 13th vice chancellor should not abandon yesterday and today, but must consolidate and build on the strength of yesterday and today,” he stated.
NAN reports that 16 of the 18 aspirants, were physically present, while one participated online and the other, absent.
Prof. Adeyinka Aderinto, one of the leady candidates for the position, pledged to make the premier university a solution centre to the country’s challenges.
According to him, Nigeria will be running to the institution for solutions to challenges, while promising to ensure that the premier university contributes to policy development, debates and engagements.
Aderinto further promised to pursue aggressive fund mobilisation, stating that UI would be repositioned to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
Also, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, pledged to make the institution a global first rate institution, distinguished in creativity and innovation, as well as service.
“Our administration will focus on funding and finances, UI like other universities, is presently underfunded largely due to the policies of the Federal Government.
“It also has a lean IGR base. To address our funding challenge, we will be, transferring the management of all our revenue generating centres to one of our newly registered company, the UI Platinum Enterprises, to remove bottlenecks and enhance profitability and effectiveness.
“We will also encourage town and gown collaboration, so that research outcomes will be processed by the industry, to patent right product commercialisation to generate revenue,” Adebowale said.
Another candidate, Prof. Babatunde Adeleke, said he had been in the university system since 1986 and had made modest contributions in various segments of the university life, in the University of Ilorin.
“And this I hope to bring to bear if I have the opportunity to lead this institution.
“I would ensure credibility is sustained in the academic programmes in terms of the admission process. We will also make sure that the good name of the University of Ibadan is sustained.
“We would sustain the accredited programmes and new programmes will be brought, to add value to the university in terms of generating revenue,” Adeleke said.
Also speaking, Prof. Olusegun Ademowo, highlighted various challenges bedeviling the university which had affected its ranking and effectiveness.
He pledged to confront the myriads of such challenges through consolidation and innovation, to transform the university into a world class institution that would be self reliant.
Prof. Aderemi Raji-Oyelade vowed to pursue a proactive welfare system that would discourage industrial strike and engender collaborative re-focusing research for a post-oil economy.
Also speaking, Prof. Kolapo Hamzat promised a technology driven and research intensive university that would empower graduates to be self-sufficient.
Other candidates also promised to reinvigorate the university as a world class and truly international institution for global competitiveness.
NAN reports that all the candidates jostling for the position identified under-funding and infrastructure limitation, as impediments to the actualisation of the full potentials of the institution.
They also identified challenges of welfare, instability in the academic calendar, poor research funding and others and promised to aggressively reverse the trend.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi
FG reviews treasury forms, other accounting source documents—AGF
The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has started a comprehensive review of treasury forms and other accounting source documents in use in all Federal Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
Mr Henshaw Ogubike, the Director, Information, Press and Public Relations, OAGF, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
The review is part of the mandate of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Idris Ahmed, under FR.107 (n) to issue officially approved forms bearing treasury numbers for use to ensure uniformity.
Ahmed inaugurated an inter-ministerial committee to handle the review of the documents.
Speaking at the inauguration, the AGF said the committee was expected to identify all treasury forms and accounting source documents presently in use.
He directed the committee to come up with new formats in line with the public financial reforms.
He said the committee should recommend additions or deletions of the contents, assign relevant number systems to the treasury forms and review the documents in line with GIFMIS operations.
He urged the committee to be guided by the Federal Government’s quest for adoption of e-governance and full deployment of ICT solutions on public finance reforms initiatives being driven by the treasury.
Ahmed said that the contents of the treasury forms and other accounting source documents in use were no longer relevant to drive the various public finance management reforms of the government.
He said that a comprehensive review and update of these accounting source documents was thus imperative for an efficient and successful implementation of government’s financial management reforms.
The AGF reiterated the government’s resolve to ensure successful review of the documents and charged the committee to give the assignment the seriousness it deserved and deliver on time.
Edited By: Grace Yussuf