•Union decries varsities recruitment system
• Some lecturers ‘not qualified’
•CONUA ‘exists only on paper’
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to jettison its Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for the union’s University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
The union’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, spoke on Sunday at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
The union leader said ASUU would support any step by the Federal Government to eradicate corrupt practices from the university system, but urged the government to embrace the union’s proposed payroll system.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on October 8, 2019, directed all government employees to be enrolled into IPPIS to ensure accountability and curb corruption in the system.
“In 2014, February precisely, after much debate about IPPIS, we told the government our reservations about IPPIS and the uniqueness of the universities.
“We thought they agreed with us. They said we should nominate three people and they will also nominate three persons, and then, we should come up with a platform that would be acceptable to ASUU.
“We did not hear anything from them. When they came back in July 2019, it was now a story that government had made up its mind that it is IPPIS.
“The platform we had in mind is the one we have now started because they pushed us to the point of taking on the challenge.
“ASUU will sponsor the development of that platform, which we call UTAS. It came about as a way of showing them that we are not against their war against corruption, that ASUU fully supports any step that will nip corruption in the bud,” he said.
Ogunyemi said the union’s payroll system would give government the opportunity to have access to control and monitor activities and progress of the universities.
“The difference between what they are doing now and UTAS is that what they are doing now is just government information system for payment.
“They just send the wage bill for universities into the university account and they ask them to pay and they monitor.
“In the case of UTAS, all the personnel information and the payroll system will be uploaded and there are about five components which we have segmented and developed.
“Not everybody will have access to all of these. So, we are saying that the best way to ensure university autonomy is to develop a system that will be resident in the university. But those in government can have access to control and monitor it.
“This will secure and safeguard the autonomy of the universities; that will also give government the opportunity to monitor what is going on in the system as regularly as they want to…”
The ASUU National President also decried the recruitment system in the universities. He said: “Some lecturers have no business in the classrooms, but they found their way in due to political interference.
“You find that some lecturers probably have no business being in the universities. But you know politics has done so much damage to us that sometimes merit is sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity and political connections.