PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari’s directive for the payment of withheld February and March salaries of some Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members is generating ripples over conditions attached.ASUU members nationwide are on strike to press home the non implementation of 2009 signed agreement, other Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs), Integrated Payroll and Per-sonnel Information System (IPPIS) issue and renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
Buhari on Tuesday approved the payment of February and March salaries to ASUU members in federal universities not enrolled on the IPPIS. Less than 24 hours after, some branches of the union said their members were asked to provide the IPPIS form and their Bank Verification Number (BVN) before the February and March salaries will be credited to their account.
According to some union leaders, vice-chancellors were directed to re-validate the BVN of lecturers which they view as an attempt to enroll them on the IPPIS.A circular to ASUU Universitity of Lagos members said it is a welcomed development, but it should be received with cautious optimism . The circular signed by the branch chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru, explained that information from some branch-es indicated that the payment is conditioned upon the filling of IPPIS form and submission of BVN numbers.
He said the national leadership of the union has directed that no member should submit their BVN nor fill the IPPIS form.
“Our union’s opposition to the obnoxious and retrogres-sive IPPIS enrollment for which we have been vindicated still stands. While thanking the members for being resolute and steadfast in the struggle for a better public university system in Nigeria, please be rest assured that sooner than later all our outstanding salaries would be paid without any encumbrance,” Ashiru stated.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono and Director of Corporate Communications, National Universities Commission (NUC), Malam Ibrahim Yakasai, did not respond to calls and WhatsApp message sent to their phone lines. But the Public Relations Officer of the Accountant General of Federation office, Mr. Henshaw Ogu-bike, said he was neither aware of the conditions nor if the two months withheld salaries have been release.