The education minister said he was impressed with the platform and wondered why unions had not developed it before the introduction of IPPIS.

The rejection of the Integrated Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as a payment platform for university staff on Tuesday took on another dimension, as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Union of Non-Academic Employees of Educational and Related Institutions (NASU) and Senior Association of Nigerian University Employees ) presented to Minister of Education Adam Adam his preferred payment platform.

With the tag “University payroll and payroll system (U3PS)” JAC, which includes representatives of SSANU and NASU, said that IPPIS was recognized as inappropriate features of the university system.

Speaking at a meeting on Tuesday, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Andrew Adeja said that the Ministry of Labor and Employment at a meeting in October 2020 agreed to present the preferred JAC payment system.

“About last month we received a letter from (the Ministry of Labor) forwarding it to us (the Ministry of Education) to take the necessary action. So we met last week and calculated it, and this is an official presentation, ”Mr. Adejo said.

U3PS

Introducing U3PS, NASU Secretary General Peters Adeemi said it gives universities autonomy in preparing their payroll that is tailored to the specifics of the system.

He said the union joined IPPIS in the first few months before it was asked to create U3PS because of inconsistencies related to IPPIS.

He said: “Since the government has stated that IPPIS will be used to fight corruption, we need to team up with the government to conduct an IPPIS test and we have moved on to IPPIS.

“But from the first month to the second, third and fourth months, or so, there were a lot of inconsistencies. An avalanche of inconsistencies. So much so that our members could no longer stand it and they acted on their nerves.

“And we looked inside and among us and we realized that we have technical and ICT experts who can help us develop an alternative to IPPIS, which we called the University Salary and Payments System (U3PS), where we believe that all inconsistencies in IPPIS will be resolved. “

Mr Adeyemi added that U3PS was designed “in a way to accommodate all stakeholders in the university system, be it scientists, non-teaching staff or academic technologists”.

Says the Minister

Speaking, the education minister said he was impressed with the platform and wondered why unions had not developed it before the introduction of IPPIS.

Mr Adamu urged unions to document inconsistencies related to IPPIS to help attract the government’s attention.

He said: “I would like to congratulate you on this work you have done. I congratulate the Nigerian intellectuals who were able to do this, because I believe that IPPIS is paying big money to foreigners.

“So, in our higher institutions there are specialists who could do it. I don’t even know why they never did that.

“I would like to address you. The inconsistencies that you say to us in IPPIS, of which there are many, please state them, because we need to know how things went wrong.

“I’m sure when IPPIS started, it worked very well. But now everyone is complaining, including those who control them. “

The minister also instructed the union to make a similar presentation to the federation’s finance minister and accountant general, “so that it can be verified by the NITDA.”

“I hope you can handle this task and be able to defend yourself. But I believe NITDA will be waiting for you,” he said.

NITDA is missing

Meanwhile, representatives of National Agency for Information Technology Development (NITDA) were absent at Tuesday’s meeting.

NITDA is the government agency responsible for “creating the basis for planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of information technology practices in Nigeria”.

It is expected that the new application will be rigorously tested before it can be approved for deployment.

During the meeting, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education said that the invitation was sent to the NITDA, but he did not know why his representatives were absent.

However, Hadiza Umar, head of NITDA’s corporate and external relations department, told PREMIUM TIMES that she was unaware of the invitation. She promised to ask and give an answer. But at the time of filing this report, she has not yet responded.

“I have to ask, I don’t know about the meeting or why NITDA was not represented,” she said in response to a request from our correspondent.

NITDA has been in dispute with ASUU over the certification and approval of the University’s Transparency and Accountability Decision (UTAS), which is one of the key requirements of striking faculty members.

Calls for industrial peace

The permanent secretary urged the union to always cooperate with the Ministry of Education if a question arises before contacting the Ministry of Labor and Employment.