© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
ASUU-FG conflict: Publication misleading, uncharitable and a blackmail ―ASUU
CONFLICT between the Office of the Attorney – General of the Federation (OAGF) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities deepens as ASUU responded to the claims of the OAGF as misleading, uncharitable and a blackmail of the union.
Following a press statement by the OAGF on the outcome of the meeting between the Union, OAGF and others concerning the directive of the federal government on IPPIS that all federal university workers must be enrolled under the platform; ASUU stated that the publication was against the Union based on arguments with the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
In a statement signed by the Akure Zone of the Union, ASUU kicked against the directive with agitations that it contradicts the statutory law of academic professionalism and also overrides universities autonomy.
ASUU urged the general public to disregard the “blackmail” which was aimed at painting their membership corrupt amongst other things.
“It is a pity that the OAGF having failed to proffer intellectual and constructive responses to our observations on the proposed policy, rushed to the press to malign our members.”
“As a union of members with integrity, we are resolved to educate the public on the true positions of the ominous policy that is already regretted by those currently hosted on the platform. The sixteen-point release by the OAGF on ASUU’s opposition to IPPIS is just propagandic and does not show any sincere intention of the Government to follow simple laws in the Country”.
In the press statement made available to The ICIR, ASUU wrote that the points raised by the OAGF are still in contention as there is no assurance that the peculiarities have been adequately captured and besides the intention has somersaulted on point of law, which should be supreme.
“It is irresponsible of the OAGF to accuse the Union of promoting corruption by opposing IPPIS. The policy has provided ‘food for the boys’ under the supposed savings of N273 billion, we marvel at this huge savings and request that he publishes a full list of MDAs where these funds were recovered and what happened to the recovered funds (loot?).”
“Despite our cry of gross maladministration and mismanagement of funds by certain public office holders, the OAGF has not been heard to make any indictment. We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to undertake a covert investigation on the operation of IPPIS by MDAs currently on the platform, then Nigerians will truly know who is shielding and promoting corruption.The OAGF cannot absolve itself from this!.”
ASUU noted that the directive contradicted section 34 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly, no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment, no person shall be held in slavery or servitude; and no person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.
‘The taxable components of the salary become vulnerable to the office and no longer as negotiated with respective state governments, issues of Promotion of our members and payment of arrears is already an issue with the platform elsewhere, where notional promotion is applied, third party deductions, and remittance to owner funds from news making the rounds, is very tedious in organizations presently on board IPPIS,” the Union wrote.
They lamented their disappointment, stating that the IPPIS tussle with the Union has been on since 2013 and they expected that a serious and anti-corruption minded government would have seen reason to respect the law and let the Universities run along their statutes, reiterated that universities are not MDAs, and should be left alone to run itself as it is practiced across the globe.
However, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has announced that any worker not enrolled on the IPPIS platform by October 31st will not be paid.