A cross section of the contestantsfor the Office of the Vice Chancellor.
By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said the Integrated Payment Payroll Information System (IPPIS) introduced in Nigeria public Universities has hindered the progress of the institutions in the country.
ASUU also said since its introduction (IPPIS) in 2019, it has done more harm to the university system.
This was disclosed by the Zonal Coordinator of Bauchi Zone, Prof. Lawan Abubakar, while speaking at an interactive session organised for contestants for the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, held at the ASUU Secretariat of the University.
Abubakar said, “Contestants, we have a very big challenge, and we are with you and you should be with us, to make sure that the public University system in Nigeria survives.
“Any Vice Chancellor coming now should know that its not going to be a tea party, if genuinely you have come to work.
“With the introduction of IPPIS in Federal Public Universities, the lawful duties of the University Governing Council has been rubbished, so also the University administration.
“For example, Universities have three roles, which are personnel, overhead and capital; government use to leave these roles to the Universities, and with the funds in the hands of the institutions, they can strategically plan on how to utilize the funds.
“Sadly, it started by taking away the personnel; to the extent that no one knows if staff of the University of Jos are paid; you will never know”, he decried.
“Then recently, even the overhead and the capital are no longer with the University administration, because no University now knows what it has for the both (in monetary terms), you must pick your phone and ask the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“The shocking story about this is; if the Bursar or the Vice Chancellor will ask them, honestly he or she must pay for the information”, he explained.
On employment in the Universities, the Zonal Coordinator said, “Employment now is not in the hands of the University administration.
According to him, Universities have lost several staff, but cannot be replaced, because you must get approval from one office or the other.
“You may have a certain staff category you want to replace, and need approval, they will say; take my list first, if you have a Vice Chancellor that is courageous enough to say I don’t need the kind of staff your sending, they will say find a place for them”, he lamented.
“So these are some of the challenges you will encounter, it never going to be a tea party”, he stressed.
He urged whoever emerged as the new Vice Chancellor to partner with ASUU to ensure that IPPIS is taken away from the University system.
“This can be achieved if the committee of Vice Chancellors synergize with ASUU to ensure that public Universities are funded, so that the children of the poor citizen can have the opportunity to have University education”, he maintained.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Prof. Sebastian Maimako, commended ASUU for organising the interactive session for the contestants.
Maimako who was represented by Prof. John Adeiyongo, maintained that availing such an opportunity to the candidates gives them the avenue to say what they can offer.
The Vice Chancellor also acknowledged the importance of the role of ASUU in ensuring public Universities are funded.
He assured contestants that a level playing ground has been presented, “Nobody is favoured, if you perform very well, you will be considered on merit”.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chairperson of ASUU University of Jos Branch, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, said, “What we expect from you as a Union is to be truthful about what you said you will do.
“One of you is certainly going to emerge, and for us as a Union, no University in this country whether state or federal can survive without ASUU as a Union.
According to him, “It is ASUU that goes out and get funds and drop it on the table of the Vice Chancellor.
“All we want as a Union is transparency in utilising the funds, so that we move from where we are to greater height”, he maintained.
He however lamented that, “As a result of the struggle that we have made for this University, there are some of our colleagues that have not been paid for over ten months.
“Some of our colleagues are being victimize all in the struggle for the University; there is no reason for not paying them, and yet they are expected to go to work and discharge their responsibilities”, he decried.
“About N8 million is being deducted from our members monthly, sadly what was remitted to us just this month was N109, 000.
Maigoro further lamented that, “with such meagre remittance, we can’t even assist our affected members.
The University of Jos Branch chairperson urged the contestants that, whoever emerged as the Vice Chancellor, should try to find a way of assisting members of the Union if they find themselves in this kind of situation, adding that some Universities have deviced a means of assisting those in similar circumstance.
It would be recalled that thirteen professors are vying for the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, whose tenure is due to expire in June, 2021.