The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said at the weekend the Federal Government would look at the payment platform, University General Peculiar Payroll Payment System (UGPPPS) designed by the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and take a definite position on the crisis in the university system.
Ngige, according to a statement issued by his media aide stated this when he received the President of SSANU, Mohammed Haruna, and his predecessor, Samson Ugwoke, in his office in Abuja.
The two unions had rejected the University Transparency Account System (UTAS) proposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for payment of lecturers’ salaries and allowances.
ASUU had on its part rejected Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) preferred by the federal government.
But the government had promised to forward the ASUU’s proposal to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for assessment.
SSANU and NASU had been complaining of irregularities in payment of salaries since they migrated to IPPIS.
At the meeting, the minister said the federal government would look at UGPPPS as demanded by SSANU.
Ngige said the government was making effort to meet up with ASUU’s demands but warned against the use of different payment platforms in Nigerian universities.
“We are going to look at SSANU and NASU platform. But any of such systems to be accepted must have a ‘handshake with IPPIS and other payment systems in use by the Federal Government’ as having such technology to work in silos is being discouraged even globally,” he stated.
Ugwoke commended the minister on his handling of trade disputes.
He said the union would reconsider its position if IPPIS was updated to accommodate the peculiarities captured by UGPPPS.
He said: We are here to present the new President of SSANU and ask that you extend the patriotism, friendship, and understanding which I enjoyed to my successor.
“Your understanding of various challenges facing Nigerian workers operating under different unions, the patience and transparency with which you mediate, reawaken hope in us that government is committed to the welfare of workers.”
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