In a release, jointly signed by the ASUU Chairperson, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Chinyere A. Echendu and the Secretary, Comrade Francis A. Nkaa, and made available to newsmen, they described the development as ugly, indefensible and capable of throwing the system into further crisis.
Recall that in February 2020, the officials of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) stopped the salaries of Academic staff in Nigerian Universities following disagreement between Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Federal Government (FG), over the use of IPPIS for the payment of salaries of staff in the universities.
Subsequently in April 2020, the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, directed that Academic Staff of Universities whose salaries were stopped should be paid their February and March salaries through whatever means.
Information gathered revealed that the directive of Mr. President in relation to Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) and University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) has not been carried out.
The statement further said that:
“These two Universities are the only Universities out of the 43 Federal Universities not to have been paid salaries for upwards of five to six months as the case may be. The OAGF has not offered any reason for this ugly development.
“There are reports making the rounds that officials of IPPIS are arm-twisting the University Administrations to get their staff paid. If the reports are true, is it not shocking that an agency who claims to be fighting corruption should engage in such inglorious acts.
“We demand that MOUAU and UNIMAID should as a matter of urgency be paid the outstanding salaries for the months of February – May 2020 which have been paid to other universities.
The OAGF should come clean on IPPIS and the Universities in order to save the Universities from further crisis”, they further disclosed.
They called on all well meaning Nigerians to prevail on IPPIS to release the salaries of academic staff of MOUAU and UNIMAID forthwith, and put an end to flagrant abuse of office and disrespect to the office of Mr. President.
The officer that liaises between OAGF and IPPIS offices, Mr. Boniface Abali when contacted, confirmed the non payment of outstanding salaries but declined comment on other issues raised.