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IPPIS , Ghost Workers And The ASUU Palava

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IPPIS , Ghost Workers And The ASUU Palava

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The back and forth dillydally on the issue of Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) between the Federal Government and The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has turned to roforofo fight as we say in local parlance.

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IPPIS, is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria to help check salary and payroll fraud and to also improve the effectiveness and efficiency of payroll administration for its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

Basically, the IPPIS was introduced to checkmate and correct the flaws associated with the manual file-based payroll system which has been the system of payment.

Looking at the loopholes of the manual file payroll system especially with the issues of ghost workers, it became pertinent to implement a single integrated payment structure across Federal Government Ministries, Parastatals, and Agencies.

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It was no longer news in Nigeria that one of the biggest challenges associated with the manual payment system was that the government could not tell the actual size of its workforce.

Lack of reliable and accurate workers’ information has also been linked with the manual file payment system.

This has created rooms for salaries to be allocated to the names of dead workers or non-existing workers (Ghost workers), and some people fraudulently enriching themselves on taxpayers’ money.

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Ghost workers have drained the country of the large chunk of resources while denying thousands of Nigerians jobs.

According to a report by The Partnership For Transparency,  In 2011, several state governments reported having discovered from 600 – 20,000 ghost workers on their payrolls.

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Ghost workers are defrauding the Nigerian government out of $530 million (US) each year, effectively crippling the national budget.

In March 2020, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmad, confirmed the identification of 70,000 ghost workers.

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She stated this while addressing directors from the office of the Accountant-General of the federation during a retreat in Kano.

The Minister explained with the help of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) the Federal Government had identified and flush out about 70,000 ghost workers.

However, since last year members of the Academic Staff Union Universities have been on a loggerhead with the Federal Government to have their members enroll in the centralized payment system.

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The Academic Union has continued to insist that the Federal Government seems to have ulterior motivate with the introduced IPPIS and they ASUU are suspicious of these motives.

Earlier this year in March, the federal government had ordered stoppage of payment of salaries to lecturers and all workers in federal tertiary institutions who are not enrolled on the IPPIS.

This order further heightens the tension between the Academic Union and the Federal Government. With lectures who were not enrolled in IPPIS threatening strike action.

Due to the lockdown and harsh economic position, President Muhamed buhari in April approved the payment of the withheld salaries of February and March 2020 for lecturers in federal universities who have not registered on the IPPIS.

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However, there have been allegations that the Federal Government had forcefully enrolled lecturers on the payment system without capturing their biometrics and other information.

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According to ASUU these has heightening the fears of many lecturers that there was an ulterior motive after all.

The question that keep burning in me is why the hocus-pocus from the side of ASUU?  Why is ASUU and her members conjuring every single spell in the book to avoid enrolling on the payment paltform? A clear conscience they says fear no accusation.

ASUU and its members have made the issue of the IPPIS seems like a witch-hunting expedition by the Federal Government. For God-sake the enrollment of workers on the integrated payroll is not for lecturers or university workers only.

ASUU as a body has failed to do what is right and will continue to lose relevance. The centralized payment system should not have warrants Its continual threats of strike action when it would have easily plugged into the system.

In a fight to address corruption in our public sectors and checkmate the problem of Ghost workers, ASUU should be seen at the forefront, not an impediment to it.

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Read Also: Former JAMB Boss, Professor Dibu Ojerinde Loses Gravity FM, Sapati International School, Ilorin, Filling Stations, Others to Federal Government of Nigeria

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