FEC exempts varsities, polytechnics, others from IPPIS

THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) has exempted universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and other tertiary institutions from the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) payment platform.

The FEC also granted permission to the institutions to embark on recruitment without recourse to the Head of Service of the Federation.

Minister of Education Tahir Maman disclosed these on Wednesday, December 13, after the FEC meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Maman noted that the council had relieved the management of tertiary institutions of the burden of obtaining approval and waiver from the Office of the Head of Service for recruitment.

He said the decision was taken after appropriate consideration by the President and the council regarding the universities’ management efficiency.

“The President cannot understand why vice-chancellors should leave their duty post and run to Abuja to get staff enlisted on IPPIS when they get recruited.

“The basic concern is that universities are governed by laws. And those laws give them autonomy in certain respects and most respects, and the IPPIS has sort of eroded that autonomy granted universities in accordance with their act,” the minister added.

The ICIR reports that enrolment on the IPPIS is one of the reasons the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had often been at daggers drawn and in perennial conflict with the Federal Government, leading to several strikes under the past administrations of former President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari.

The ASUU went on strike for 669 days during the Buhari administration, the highest number of days the lecturers had downed tools under any president since the nation returned to democracy in 1999. 






     

     

    The lecturers were demanding the implementation of an agreement the Federal government signed with them in 2009, which included the funding for infrastructure and research in the universities, use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) in place of IPPIS, payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

    Although the number of times the polytechnic lecturers embarked on strike during Buhari’s administration was lower than that of ASUU, The ICIR can confirm that ASUP went on strike in 2017, 2018/19, 2021, and 2022.

    Meanwhile, in his reaction to the development, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, said: “Today, the universities and other tertiary institutions have gotten a very big relief from the integrated personnel payroll and information system. You will recall that the university authorities and the others have been clamouring for the exemption of the universities and other tertiary institutions from this system.

    “Today, the council has graciously approved that. What that means is that going forward, the universities like the Honorable Minister of Education has said, and other tertiary institutions, the polytechnics and colleges of education will be taken off the IPPIS.”

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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