Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has made it clear that the Federal Government’s proposal on Friday 20 November 2020 to exempt members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) is a temporary measure. Decision will be made upon the conclusion of integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
The minister, who clarified the position of the FG team on the negotiation with ASUU cleared that it was a blatant lie that the government had abandoned the use of IPPIS or that ASUU should not be on the platform as a means of payment.
Today, Saturday 21 November 2020, the minister said, “ I think it is better because a lot of people are quoting us out of context saying that we abandoned the IPPIS and that we said they should not be on IPPIS , it is not true.
“ What we said in the meeting and what we agreed was that in the interim for the transition period that UTAS is being tested by NITDA and the Office of National Security Adviser for cyber security.
“ For that transition period , ASUU members that are not yet on IPPIS will be paid through the platform with which they were paid the President ’s compassionate COVID – 19 payment done to them between the months of February and June.
“ That platform is a hybrid platform between IPPIS and GIFMIS platform ( Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System ) for the transition period. That was what was used , it ’s a hybrid . ”
He gave the reason for settling for that position as no government payment should be done outside the platform of IPPIS.
“ So there is a handshake between IPPIS and GIFMIS platform and that was what was used in paying them for that period and so we are going to continue with that until UTAS undergoes all the integrity test and cyber security test and it is confirmed for use, ” he added.
Speaking on the N65 billion offer reportedly made to ASUU, Ngige said that before the Friday meeting, the government made an aggregate offer of N50 billion to the union.
He said, “ The offer made was clear . You can understand it this way. Prior to meeting of yesterday ( Friday ) , government brought an aggregate offer of N 50 b to ASUU; N 20 b for revitalisation, to show good faith that government is still with them on the issue of funding for revitalisation and pending the affirmation of the new sources of funding public education . There is a committee on that and the committee is working on sourcing new education funds, it is a NEEDS committee.
“ So, pending that NEEDS committee effecting a new funding source and strategy , government offered them N 20 b for revitalisation , apart from the funds that are coming from TETFUNDS that is also used for revitalisation.
“ They refused the N 20 bn and said that they wanted N 110b which was 50 per cent of a tranche of N 220 bn. Government said they didn’t have that kind of money and then increased that N 20 bn by N 5 bn to become N 25 bn and if it becomes N 25 b , the Earned Allowances will be raised to N 40 b immediate payment, making for a total of N 65 billion for revitalisation and Earned Allowances in the universities.”