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AGF faults ASUU’s UTAS payment system

House speaker Femi Gbajabiamilla, in a meeting with Head of Service, others over ASUU strike

The acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh, stated that employees can under no circumstances prescribe to their employers how they should be paid, calling into question the insistence of ASUU on University Transparency Accountability Solution UTAS.

One of the complaints raised by ASUU during its current strike is the use of UTAS as a payment platform for university teachers, with the union claiming that the fgS iNTERGRATED Payroll System, IPPIS, will not operate for lecturers.

The AG AGF statement came on Thursday, on the second day of a truce meeting arranged by the House of Representatives to resolve the 7-month-long Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU strike.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan said IPPIS has blocked some obvious deception like age falsification.

She said over 2000 University of Calabar employees were being investigated for falsifying their retirement ages due to the absence of IPPIS at the time of their employment.

She said IPPIS was able to clean up the database of core civil servants in order to administer their payrolls more efficiently.

Salary increment

Mr Ekpo Nta, chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, told the House leadership that, in light of the general agitation in the tertiary education sector, the agency advised the government to consider increasing the salaries of staff across the board, including universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

The federal government has since proposed a salary increment for university lecturers, and following the continuation of the strike, a court case was instituted.

The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated that while it is not the employee’s responsibility to dictate the platform for the payment of his right by an employer, if the former has a superior payment system, it should be used to end the strike.

After hours of consideration, the Speaker proposed a follow-up meeting with ASUU officials on Thursday of the following week.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Saadatu Albashir