A fresh indication has emerged of the Federal Government plans to replace the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS for an alternative platform.
This was disclosed by the spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan during an interview on Sunday.
Akpan also gave conditions put in place for the adoption of any payment platform apart from the IPPIS.
He stated that the platform must be capable of eliminating ghost workers’ syndrome and other forms of corruption in payment of salaries.
Akpan stated this as opposition to the IPPIS grew on Sunday when unions including the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria said it was only suitable for the civil service.
Recall that ASUU had on March 23, begun an indefinite strike over the government’s insistence on the IPPIS, among other reasons.
Other university unions, which initially supported the payment system, backed out on the grounds that it contained many irregularities.
As an alternative to the IPPIS, ASUU had presented its University Transparency and Accountability Solution to the Federal Government. UTAS is currently being tested by the National Information Technology Development Agency, while SSANU and NASU have proposed the University General and Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System.
Akpan maintained that the Federal Government would settle for the best payment platform in universities
He explained that the government wished to save money and would adopt any platform that could help in achieving its goal.
He said, “The aim of the IPPIS is to monitor government finances and salaries of workers and also to eliminate ghost workers’ syndrome. The government is looking to save money and remove corruption from the system.
“So, if an organisation comes up and says it have something that could help you to achieve this purpose, I’m sure government would surely consider it. So, all options are still open to the government.”
Akpan noted that the government would settle for any payment platform that is better than the IPPIS, adding that it was encouraging research and development in the tertiary institutions in the country.
Asked if the government had taken a position on the UTAS developed by ASUU, Akpan stated, “What government has done so far is to evaluate that of ASUU which is going through integrity test.
“But for the ones of NASU and SSANU, they said they just informed the government about it without presenting anything. They are working on their own. What the minister said is that if anyone had what the government could use, the government would always adopt it.
“The government is looking for the very best; if there is something that is better than IPPIS, the government would definitely fall back on it. Government is encouraging research and development in the academia.”