Colleges of education lecturers demand release of withheld salaries

Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union on Thursday demanded the release of outstanding salaries of 70 lecturers allegedly withheld as a result of infractions on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

The education union in a statement signed by its National President, Smart Olugbeko, while commending the Federal Executive Council for the exemption of tertiary institutions from the IPPIS platform said the decision was the best taken so far by the current administration.

The PUNCH reports that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government recently announced the exemption of tertiary institutions from the IPPIS platform. Academic unions such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities among others have commended the move.

COEASU however said, “Our Union has consistently put up a strong opposition against IPPIS as a fraudulent and ineffective platform. It is sad that such a platform with its obvious lapses was allowed to wreak havoc on the education system for such a long time. It will take a long time before our institutions can be completely healed of the injuries caused by IPPIS.

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“As of today, more than seventy lecturers who embarked on sabbatical leave between 2020 and 2022 were not paid salaries throughout the duration of the sabbatical leave while some were paid for few months. Also, many lecturers are still being owed salaries and IPPIS could not explain the reasons for the omission. All efforts to make IPPIS effect payment to these lecturers yielded no result.”

Speaking further, the union noted that, “by the history of our long-drawn struggle against the problematic pay platform, we are sure that certain persons in critical ministries whose parochial interests have been wounded by the President’s action will play sabotage by putting up measures to ensure that our institutions have a problem accessing their funds, leading to shortfalls and inability to pay salaries promptly to seek selfish vindication for IPPIS. Also, IPPIS should be given a deadline to clear all its liabilities to institutions as it will be detrimental to industrial tranquillity if these liabilities are transferred to the Governing Councils.

“Therefore, we urge Mr. President and the Honourable Minister of Education to be wary and take appropriate steps further by ensuring that tertiary institutions have unhindered and timely access to their pay wallets and the wallets should be well funded to take care of the needs of the institutions in the areas of monthly salaries, Peculiar Earned Academic Allowance sabbatical leave and recruitment of new staff to fill existing vacancies.  Our Union is giving the assurance to Mr President and the Honourable Minister that we shall continue to play our role as a watchdog and will not allow the golden opportunity to be abused by the Provosts or Governing Councils,” the statement read.

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