FG Not Planning To Strip Varsity Councils Of Responsibilities,
….Begs ASUU To Accept IPPIS Plartform
The Federal Government has said that it was not planning to take over the responsibilities of the Universities Governing Councils in the country by forcing them to enroll in the IPPIS
Head of Service, Folashade Yemi-Esan, also urged the union during an enlarged meeting brokered by the leadership of the House of Representatives to end the lingering ASUU strike, to accept the IPPIS.
She pleaded that the peculiarities of the union would be accommodated on the platform.
Following complaints of attempts by the Federal Government’s to strip the Universities Governing Council of its administrative power through the deployment of the IPPIS, Yemi-Esan allayed the fears of the striking lecturers that the government would not take away the responsibilities of the Governing Council of Universities in the administration of the schools.
Similarly the Accountant General of the Federation, Sylvia Okolieaboh, has said that the government was ready to accommodate the peculiarities of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) platform.
The Accountant General of the Federation pleaded with ASUU on Thursday during a meeting brokered by the leadership of the House of Representatives to resolve the ongoing strike by the academic union.
The Accountant General of the Federation (AoGF) revealed its readiness to accommodate issues of concern to ASUU over the payment platforms, Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) that constituted a major part of the issues that led to the strike
Okolieaboh disclosed that he was ready to accommodate issues of concern to ASUU over salary payment in order to bring an end to the seven months old strike.
He explained that adopting UTAS, which ASUU demands, might bring about unwholesome demands from various other agencies to be paid with the platforms of their own choice.
“If there are peculiarities in the university salaries system, what we need to do is to sit down with ASUU and identify them and address them in IPPIS. We are willing to accept, if the answer is yes, then the whole of the issues will be resolved.
“What we need to do, in my own opinion, is to sit down with ASUU and know what the issues are and address them inside IPPS.
“One of the risks in adopting UTAS is that everybody will come and say give us our own salary platform. As we speak, the military is on IPPS, the police is on IPPS. They have their own peculiarities.”
This was at the instance when Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the Leadership of the House would meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the resolution of the ongoing face-off between the Federal Government and ASUU, on the outcome of its interactions with the various stakeholders in the dispute next week.
The Director General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, further advised that only one payment platform be adopted for payment.
He said having more than one payment platform was too expensive for the government, especially given the paucity of funds.
But the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke said that it was not the first time the government was making a promise of looking into the issues and yet failed.
He did not accept the proposal on IPPIS but insisted on the autonomy of the university which is what the laws stipulated, even as he said that Nigeria was the only country where salaries of lecturers were paid through the office of the Accountant General.
Osodeke also queried why NITDA has refused to make available the report of the last test on UTAS, insisting that the report must be available for them to study.
“The Nigerian people have a law that says that the Universities are autonomous. What we want is real accountability. Allow the Universities to operate on the basis of the laws of the country.
“Circulars should not dictate what goes on in the University system. It’s this perception that the Universities are corrupt and cannot manage themselves is what has put us into this problem.”
But the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, in response said universities should fund themselves if they seek full autonomy.
According to him, he had in the ongoing negotiations urged ASUU to accept the IPPIS, which can still accommodate their peculiarities, while discussions continued.
He commended the leadership of the House for encouraging ASUU to stick with IPPIS to address their grievances.
He , however regretted that ASUU went on strike when negotiations were still ongoing without notice and stress that he would not accept the failed systems.
But the Speaker said if the Government is to accommodate ASUU’s issues in the IPPIS, seeing the UTAS report amounts to nothing.
He said what is important is that the universities resume as soon as possible so students can go back to school.
“We will give you the report. But we do not want delays. So the issue of UTAS let us say we are waiting to study the report. What are we doing here? What is on ground now is this that the government sits with you and ask ASUU what are the problems with IIPPIS, we would fix those problems. They did it with the military, and the health sector and others.”
According to the Speaker, the leadership, in the next couple of days, will put up a report of its interactions with key stakeholders in the dispute and come up with recommendations that will enable the President to view the issues at stake from an informed second option.
Speaker Gbajabiamila said that the information gathered from the extensive interactions would assist the leadership in arriving at fact-based recommendations for the resolution of the crisis.
He said that the interest of the children who have been at the receiving end of the trade dispute should be paramount, the speaker therefore appealed to both sides to give in and make concessions from their initial demands.
He said: “We will put together our recommendations and our thoughts and take it to Mr. President, that’s why we are here to interface and look for solutions.
“Again let me repeat, we are running a government, nobody, no individual, no group, whether you are legislative, judiciary or whatever can be above the government, can be above the law.
“We can’t be against and I’m speaking specifically to ASUU, we did not say because the court has given judgment, that’s the end of our conversation. In spite of the court judgment, we are still looking for solutions, we didn’t even address it here, I don’t want to address it.
“Otherwise, we could have ve said, if government has given judgment, I don’t know if there’s a stay of execution, I don’t know.
“We are appealing to you, the Judiciary has spoken, the Executive has spoken, the Legislature is about to speak together with the Executive; everybody cannot be wrong and only one person is right. For me I’m happy with the solution on UTAS, no victor, no vanquished, everybody is being carried along.
“For the sake of emphasis, the House is pleading with you, let’s put all interest aside and look at the interest of our children.
“The white paper we told you we’ll get, the letter is here, it’s now waiting for the President’s final approval.
“On revitalization, I asked the DG budget here if provision has been made in the budget. We made a promise to you, and we are staying by that promise.
“Regarding the issue of UTAS, you said you haven’t seen the report; we have it here, so we’ve been working for you”.
Speaker Gbajabiamila further assured the striking lectures that the House leadership would invite the leadership of ASUU following the outcome of the meeting with the President as soon as it is held.
“When we make our recommendations, we are going to meet with Mr. President and interface on your behalf”, he assured them.
Those in attendance included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha who was represented; the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngige; Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan; the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Sylva Okolieaboh; the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze; the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, represented; as well as the Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta among others.
Also present was the delegation from ASUU led by its National President president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke.
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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