Again House Leadership Meets Head of Service, Others Over ASUU
In continuation of efforts to find solutions to the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Speaker of the House of Representatives alongside his deputy Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase and other leaders of the House have again met with the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan, chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, among other government officials.
The meeting was a follow up to an earlier one the Speaker held with ASUU officials on Tuesday, where issues related to the strike were discussed.
The outcome of Tuesday’s meeting led the House leadership to invite the Head of Service, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the Accountant General of the Federation, among others.
At Thursday’s meeting, NITDA told the House leadership that the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS) failed its integrity tests regarding the university payroll, which the agency conducted between March and JUNE this year.
A NITDA official at the meeting told the House leadership that the government directed the agency to test UTAS in October, 2020, and that the platform failed the two integrity tests conducted on it.
He said following the first test, ASUU was asked to go back and review, which it did. Yet, the platform did not meet NITDA’s requirements the second time.
For the third time, NITDA was then asked to conduct tests on UTAS, IPPIS and U3PS, which the official said all the three platforms failed its requirements regarding the payroll system of universities.
Not satisfied with the explanation, Speaker Gbajabiamila asked if NITDA advised the government to take action on the lapses found on IPPIS, which has been in operation by government since 2011. But the NITDA official said they were not in a position to do that.
Gbajabiamila also asked if NITDA queried IPPIS platform, to which the official responded in the negative.
The Deputy Speaker Wase also expressed reservations at NITDA’s action, saying it ought to have advised government on the appropriate action to take in view of its discovery on IPPIS.
However, the Head of Service, in her explanation, said the ministry of communications and digital economy wrote her office following NITDA’s observations about IPPIS on the need to take a holistic look at the platform and that a committee was empaneled to carry out the assignment.
She also noted that IPPIS is not just a payment platform but that it also has a human resource component, which all government agencies have been directed to activate, noting that all those directly under her purview have since complied.
Also, the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr Nta, told the House leadership that in view of the general agitation in the tertiary education sector, the agency advised the government to look at the possibility of increasing the salaries of the staff in the entire sector, comprising universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
He said, however, that at the end of the day, the government decided to increase the salaries of lecturers in the universities by a certain percentage, while professors were considered for higher percentage.
He said he was not aware of any agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU for salary increment.
Also speaking at the meeting, the acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh, said under no circumstance should employees dictate to their employers how they should be paid, faulting ASUU’s insistence on UTAS.
After hours of deliberations, the Speaker suggested that a further follow-up meeting with ASUU officials be held on Thursday next week, which the stakeholders subscribed to. The meeting was, therefore, adjourned to Thursday next week.
FG Approves N24.2bn For Free Internet At Airports, Schools, Markets
THE Federal Government has approved free internet services worth N24.2 billion naira at 20 selected airports, 43 universities and six markets across the country.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday
Pantami said that the airports were selected from the six geo-political zones.
“Certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.
“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the South-West, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.
“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”
The minister said the markets and 43 institutions which include universities and polytechnics were also drawn from the six geopolitical zones, adding that it will ease e-learning in schools and also enhance the transition to a cashless economy.
Buhari Approves Appointment Of 6 New Perm Secs
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service
The appointments followed after a recent conducted selection process.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF),Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known in a statement by Mohammed Ahmed, Director of Communications of the Office of the HOCSF,
The appointees and their states of origin are Esuabana Asanye (Cross River), Mahmud Kambari (Borno), Richard Pheelangwah (Taraba), Lamuwa Ibrahim (Gombe), Yakubu Kofar-Mata (Kano) and Oloruntola Michael (Ogun).
DSS Confirms Plot To Install Interim Govt
The Department of State Security Service has said that the plot to Instal interim government was real
DSS noted that the plot was “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.
A statement on Wednesday, by Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the secret police, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.
“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.
“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”
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