The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said there will be no going back paying University lecturers with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
While stating that IPPIS had improved the effectiveness and efficiency of payroll administration, Ngige said before its implementation in the university system, the Academic Staff Union of Universities allegedly plunged the Federal Government into N800bn debt resulting from irregularities in payroll.
Ngige stated this in an interview with reporters in his Alor home, in the Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
He said the main reason ASUU went on strike was because of the introduction of IPPIS that had allegedly blocked loopholes for pilfering and exposed huge fraud in the system.
He said in the old payment order, “taxes deducted by bursars and the Vice-Chancellors were not reflective of the taxes of Pay As You Earn”.
“They are not, and because they are not, the shortfall in the taxes they deducted, the various state governments where those universities are domiciled have petitioned the Joint Tax Board to demand this shortfall to be paid by the Federal Government which is the principal employer of these university teachers.
“And over some time, that has accumulated into about N800bn which the Joint Tax Board has billed the Federal Government as monies that have not been paid to those sub-national governments, the state governments.
“And the Joint Tax Board is the enforcer. So, the Federal Government through the Accountant-General had to pay that money, over N800bn.
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“IPPIS takes care of all these shortcomings. ASUU refused and insisted that they have a system that is better than the IPPIS; that the IPPIS has some shortcomings; that it doesn’t capture those who are on sabbatical. It doesn’t capture visiting lecturers and some other things they mentioned.”
The Minister claimed when the government asked ASUU to come forward with a payment system it (ASUU) claimed was better than IPPIS, the university teachers petered out.