As the Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) head for a showdown over the long-dragged Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS), undergraduates across the country have called on the warring parties to sheath their sword.
The recent development was triggered by a recent circular issued by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, threatening to stop salaries of lecturers who do not enroll in the scheme by the end of this January.
But ASUU, on its part, vowed to begin action by activating its “no pay, no work policy.”This development has brought panic into the university education system, as students are worried of what would be their fate, should both parties embark on the supremacy battle.
Some of the students who spoke to The Guardian expressed fear and discontentment over the looming crisis, appealing to both parties to amicably resolve the contentious issues in the interest of students.
A student of University of Ibadan (UI), who gave her name as Esther, said: “IPPIS don’t have any relevance to Nigeria education system. I don’t know why the Federal Government is imposing it on lecturers. For ASUU to resist that scheme not minding that it is Federal Government’s directive shows that they must have a genuine reason. Government should listen to ASUU please. I don’t think this is the best time for Federal Government to be imposing anything on our lecturers because where two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
A student of Yaba College of Technology (YabaTech), who identified himself as Joshua,told Guardian Newspaper that “The Federal Government’s motive to indirectly monitor the financial activities in universities is logical and fair enough, but ASUU on the other hand, doesn’t like the initiative for reasons best known to them. But I’m appealing to both parties to work this out amicably, because the end result would be on student, and it would be adverse.”
For a Lagos State University (LASU) student, who gave her name as Seye, “The Federal Government in my opinion should reason with ASUU concerning IPPIS. The lecturers have a valid point, they have been in the system for years and they know what is best for them. IPPIS in relation to the university lecturers has some shortcomings. I think the FG should see how those shortcomings could be removed completely such that it will be beneficial to the lecturers if at all the government want to implement it. We don’t want any disruption in our academic calendar.”
But another student who identified himself as Kunle seems not to be happy with ASUU in particular. “A blind man can see the reason why ASUU don’t want to enrol in the IPPIS. There are lots of ghost workers in the civil service system. Nonexistent people whose names appear on the payroll system are still receiving salaries. Individual in the system, ASUU included aid and abet this. IPPIS will cause them to lose the money they have been enjoying. Now, this fight will surely affect the students since the Federal Government is adamant and ASUU is dishing out threats.”
Another student from University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) blamed the situation on government, saying their insincerity, corruption and inconsistency in policies, has cost them their dignity.
With ASUU threatening to embark on strike should the government stop their salaries, students have appealed to the government to consider the union’s alternative of IPPIS, dubbed, the Nigerian University Accountability and Transparency System (NUTAS).
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