By Jurbe Joseph Molwus PhD
In the ongoing fight against COVID 19, the people’s welfare and wellbeing have been regarded as critical.
Hence we need the Ministries of Labour, Finance and Education; Office of the AGF, SGF or NUC to address some heart touching issues.
Let us go straight to the point; the President and commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, gave a directive last week for University Lecturers who refused to join IPPIS to be paid their withheld two months’ salaries “immediately” in consideration of the difficulties associated with COVID 19. Up till now, they have yet to be paid.
Federal public University staff were being paid their salaries before January 2020 (after which their salaries were stopped) without any humanly known issues.
One would expect that such statusquo would have been maintained in implementing the directive of Mr President, if genuine “goodfaith” was anything to go by.
That is, such withheld salaries would have been paid as it used to be the case before January 2020.
But the BVNs (personal biometric secrets) of the Lecturers were demanded in addition to other readily available information as conditions for the withheld salaries to be paid.
Therefore, some burning questions beg for answers viz: Did the President actually directed the payment of the withheld salaries “immediately”?
Did the President really give any condition(s) for his directive to be implemented?
More specifically, did the President in his directive required the lecturers to join IPPIS or fulfill any conditions before they are paid the withheld salaries?
Is somebody violating a Presidential directive issued in “good faith” with impunity? /are there any reason(s) why the relevant ministries/agencies are so desperate to have the University lecturers enrolled?
Does it mean they are not keeping any records when they say they need the BVNs to avoid double payments?
In all, if the President actually gave such condition(s), was there actually any intention to pay the University lecturers their withheld salaries?
Is someone actually expecting that the weapon of hunger is beginning to have effect on the members of ASUU and so they would hurriedly submit any information required no matter how detrimental it is to their struggle?
Is the President Buhari led government’s integrity that is much talked about, still intact?
We need sincere and straightforward answers please.
Writes from the Department of Building, University of Jos.