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Alleged N80bn fraud against Auditor-General vindicates our position on IPPIS —COEASU

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The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) stated on Thursday that the alleged N80 billion fraud at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation vindicates its opposition to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The University Transparency and Accountability Solution was chosen as the union’s preferred payment platform.

The Federal Government has been at odds with COEASU over its objection to the IPPIS payment network.

However, in response to the N80 billion fraud allegedly perpetrated by the AGF, Idris Ahmed, who is currently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the COEASU President, Dr Smart Olugbeko, noted in a statement that many union members had complained about illegal salary deductions.

The union described the fraud scandal as a contradiction of President Muhammadu Buhari’s lauded anti-corruption posture in a statement titled, “On UTAS we stand.”

It said, “The recent can of worms in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has uncovered a fraud of not less than a whopping N80bn sufficiently vindicates our union’s position that IPPIS is a fraud.

“Apart from undermining the statutory functions of the Governing Councils and breaching the establishment integrity of the tertiary education sector in general and the College of Education system in particular, IPPIS opens the payroll up to unilateral manipulations and cool fraud.

“In fact, we dare say that the N80bn discovered by EFCC is merely a tip of the cankerous iceberg of wanton fraud enabled by the questionable pay platform.”

Read also: Reps demand financial autonomy for Auditor-General’s office

According to COEASU, the government has run out of justifications for the prolonged delay in transferring academics in tertiary institutions to UTAS, the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ alternative payment mechanism.

“UTAS adequately addresses our concerns on payroll security and the peculiarities of the tertiary education system in general. It should be adopted for the entire academic staff in the tertiary education sector as it takes care of the peculiarities of the institutions including financial autonomy, sabbatical service, administration of discipline and fraud prevention,” the statement read.

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