The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Saturday said its members across universities are yet to be paid their withheld February and March salaries despite a directive from President, Muhammadu Buhari, that the monies be paid “with immediate effect”
ASUU added that as of Friday, April 24, none of its members had yet to receive their pay.
The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this in an interview in Abuja, noting that the union would write the Minister of Finance and other stakeholders to protest against alleged deliberate efforts by the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Office to complicate the process of salary payment.
Ogunyemi said, “If the agencies responsible refuse to carry out the directive, we are doing a letter of protest to the minister affiliated and to other quarters who should be aware of these deliberate efforts by IPPIS to derail this process of paying the salary to those who have been unjustly deprived.
“ASUU is not rejecting the payment of salary as directed; what ASUU is rejecting is the condition attached to the payment. From our understanding of what the President said, there should be no condition. We also know that the President directed the Minister of Finance to device any means so that the salary withheld be paid latest April 24.
“There is no way Mr President could have gathered the Bank Verification Numbers of scattered lecturers within three days. Our members are not on campus for them to fill forms at bursary.
“We see the BVN condition as a way of putting a wedge on the way; it is a way of ensuring that the directive is not carried out and our members are not happy with it. The universities have all the information they need to pay our members their withheld salaries.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on April 21st, ordered the payment of the February and March 2020 withheld salaries of lecturers in federal universities, who had not registered in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System -IPPIS
The statement by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said “the payment was immediate and without condition”.
The statement circulated by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, Ngige said “the President also directed the Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation to effect the payment urgently by all means to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period on lecturers and members of their family”.
The labour minister added that all the Vice-Chancellors were asked to revalidate the affected lecturers’ Bank Verification Numbers and forward to the Accountant General of the Federation for the payment