By Adeola Badru
The Nigerian Higher Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), over the weekend, warned that, unless the federal government addresses its own issues, non-teaching staff will also go on strike as soon as schools reopen.
This warning came in the context of renewed hope to end the long strike by the University Academic Staff Union (ASUU).
Addressing journalists during a press conference at the SSANU secretariat, the University of Ibadan, SSANU National Vice President Mr. Alfred Jimoh stated that the hope of having a peaceful post-COVID-19 industrial atmosphere in universities It would only be a mirage, except for issues such as unpaid arrears of accrued assignments, deficiencies in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the double deduction of the pension is addressed.
The union described as saddening that the non-teaching staff earned allowances that arose from the 2009 FG / SSANU agreement were still largely neglected, despite repeated union actions on the issue.
Noting various correspondences with the federal government, SSANU lamented the government’s indifferent attitude towards the problems affecting non-teaching staff in Nigerian universities, while treating the teaching staff as a “demigod”.
According to him: “In fact, it is very sad that the accrued allocations of our members that emerged from the 2009 FGN / SSANU Agreement are still largely neglected as the government and its agents have often acted on this issue in a This suggests that as long as the Earned Allowances for Teaching Personnel are paid, although if the Non-Teaching Personnel is not paid, there would be little or no problem ”.
“We like to state categorically that this is wrong and fallacious. SSANU is seriously mobilizing to engage the government on unpaid arrears of accrued appropriations from its members across the country as soon as schools reopen. “
“Unless the government attends to all matters that are presented to it through our various communications with it; the hope of having peaceful post-COVID industrial environments on our post-COVID-19 college campuses and interuniversity centers may well be a mirage, ”said Jimoh.
Jimoh further explained that the union’s opposition to IPPIS was due to the fact that it was a platform that did not accommodate all the peculiarities of the university system and continued to fuel corruption in the system.
The union blamed the IPPIS platform for mutilating salaries by unilaterally eliminating the allowances previously enjoyed by our members, increasing the tax burden, multiple taxation, introducing strange deductions and refusing to remit deductions from third parties of the staff to the appropriate rooms.
Just as his academic staff counterpart developed the University Accountability and Transparency Solution (UTAS) as an alternative to IPPIS, Jimoh said that SSANU had also developed an alternative platform codenamed University General Purpose Payment Platform (UG3P) that was ready for text execution and delivery to the Government.
“IPPIS, which is a payment platform adopted by the federal government to pay its staff since 2014, but fully implemented in university and interuniversity centers as of February 2020, has proven to be a great embarrassment to SSANU.”
“Contrary to our expectations and guarantees that the platform has worked to accommodate all the peculiarities of the university system and the symphony of a platform to end corruption in the system, all of which the government used to trick us into buying from the platform, we have learned that IPPIS has turned out to be a monumental failure and an embarrassment to us as it has presented the leadership and supporters of SSANU in a very bad light. The government and IPPIS managers have not done what they say “
“We want to put on record here that the non-remission of the third party deduction has a very serious negative effect both for the union (SSANU) and for its members. For example, it has incapacitated the various employees of the cooperatives and deprived them of the funds needed for member loans. “
“On the part of the union, it has seriously hampered the activities of SSANU, in particular the ability of our branches to mobilize delegates for union functions,” said Jimoh.
Similarly, SSANU rebuked the illegal pension deduction, along with the government’s failure to promptly refer the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
As a result of the government’s failure, the union regretted that the Employee Retirement Savings Account (RSA) was not credited to maturity, as required by law.
“Also, the treatment given to Pensioners under the New Pension Plan is very unpleasant. SSANU asks the government to place the Employee / Employer pension deduction in the first charge of the Consolidated Account of the Federation, to save Nigerians who have served their country with the best part of the young age from the trauma of payment of epileptic pension. , “he stated.