The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday lamented that no fewer than 95 of its members in three institutions in Bauchi zone have not been paid their salaries for up to 13 months.
The Zonal Coordinator, ASUU, Bauchi Zone, Prof. Lawan Abubakar, who disclosed this during a Press conference held at the union’s Secretariat, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, said that since they were “forced” on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, some of their members have continuously been omitted from salary payments every month.
He said: “The inconsistencies observed in the application of the IPPIS in the payments of salaries, remittances of third-party deductions have continued in all the Federal Universities. Since the introduction of IPPIS in February 2020, our members have continued to be omitted from the payments of salary on monthly basis.
“This is the situation across all the Federal Universities in the country. Every month when salary is paid, a different set of staff will have their names omitted from the payment for that particular month.
“As we speak now, about 61 lecturers from the University of Jos, are being owed salary arrears of 2 to 13 months; it is the same situation in ATBU, Bauchi which has 16 lecturers and Federal University of Kashere with 18 lecturers.
“This is deliberate and amounts to victimization of ASUU members by IPPIS Office as a ploy to force them to enrol, thereby frustrating the implementation of UTAS (University Transparency and Accountability Solution), as agreed before the strike was suspended in 2020.”
He noted that the salaries paid to their members are not commensurate with their ranks, based on the prevailing salary table, wondering where the “unauthorized” deductions are taken to.
He said: “What we have been suffering is a theft on our salaries. At the end of every month, no one can say for certain what his her exact salary would be as a result of unauthorized deductions; one must just do with what IPPIS throws at you.
“When UTAS is deployed, we will ask for the running of our salaries from January 2020, to see clearly what we were supposed to get and what we got, then, we will demand them to pay us the backlog of our salaries they have been deducting. There will be trouble, it is imminent.”
The Zonal Coordinator accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, and the Accountant General of the Federation of being unwilling to solve their problems.
Abubakar accused the Federal Government of “only interested in provoking another strike because, since the suspension of the strike in December, 2020, the Federal Government has simply gone to sleep over the implementation of most items agreed upon as contained in the Memorandum of Action.”
When asked if he thinks the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) is concerned about solving the issues ASUU has with the government, he said: “I cannot say if any politician is concerned about Nigeria. They are only concerned about their families.
“We cannot dialogue with government forever. The dialogue with this government is not fruitful. I am sure government can resolve all these in one day because we’ve been discussing them over the years.”
“Our patience has been taken for granted. We, the leaders of this Union in the various branches, the zones and the National, we cannot continue to manage our members, honestly. Our members are not happy with us because they have waited all this long with the timelines expiring since, more than eight months ago and we have not called them back.
“Anytime from now, the Union will conclude the process. We have already started the process of going back and when we exhaust our procedures, then, we will announce the date for the strike.
“We are pained to bring these issues to the public because more than 9 months after suspending the 2020 strike, Government has again reneged on the FGN-ASUU 2020 MoA. The public, in this circumstance, should not hold our Union responsible for any disruption of Academic activities in the Nigerian Public Universities.”