The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has warned against possible post Covid-19 pandemic shut down of the polytechnic education in Nigeria, if nothing is done to address challenges associated with IPPIS pay platform.
According to a statement by the General Secretary of ASUP Comrade Shammah S. Kpanja said
as at the 15th of May 2020, staff of only one Federal Polytechnic in the country that has been paid their April salaries (without allowances).
Comrade Kpanja further said that this coincides with the usurpation of payrolling functions of the Institutions by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation through the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
According to him, the sector has been replete with tales of woes since this take over by IPPIS, stressing that in February and March 2020, staff in the sector consistently received their salaries in the second week of successive months.
“The amounts released as salaries to staff varied from the unbelievable to the ridiculous. No payslips were released to the staff to provide details to enable an interpretation of the dance steps in this new macabre dance. Payments were greeted with omissions, underpayments, lack of implementation of promotions and annual increments, lack of third party deductions, unacceptable tax rates and mutilations in allowances.
“Assurances of improvements in the payment system to address the issues raised have, as is now the norm after each month’s debacle, resulted in even fresh challenges.
“The remaining Federal Polytechnics have been left to contend with selective payments of April salaries to staff. In some of the Polytechnics, the situation is as bad as 80% of staff yet to be paid their April salaries. In addition, various sums deducted as Union check off dues since February, 2020 are yet to be remitted to the unions.
“The usual attempts at explanations of this unusual event by the responsible agency of Government has been incoherent and unsatisfactory and as a result, thousands of families and their dependents have been left hungry even at this difficult period.
“Our Union is worried that in the midst of these challenges, the media is awash with reports of billions of Naira saved from the deployment of the IPPIS payment system.
“Thus far, the system has proved a colossal failure in our sector with legitimate earnings of members trapped in an opaque manner.
“The Union is therefore using this medium to demand a response from the Government in the direction of a reversal back to the former payment system.
“The nation should therefore hold the government responsible for any eventual post pandemic shut down of the system, as ample time has been given for a rectification of the challenges identified and communicated to the government as contained in the Union’s NEC resolutions of March, 2020”.