The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has criticised the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), saying it lacks the capacity to curb corruption in the university’s system.
The union explained that the IPPIS was not a legal instrument that could dictate and tackle fraudulent activities of some university administrators, insisting that the government’s payment system breached university autonomy.
ASUU’s position was contained in a statement signed by the union’s leaders of universities in the Port Harcourt Zone and made available to newsmen, in Port Harcourt.
Those who endorsed the document are Zonal Coordinator, ASUU, Port Harcourt Zone, Uzo Onyebinama; Chairperson, Federal University, Otuoke (FUO), Emmanuel Akpan; Chairperson, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Endurance Joseph; Chairperson, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Tonbara Kingdom; and Chairperson, University of Port Harcourt, Austen Sado.
Reading the statement in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Onyebinama said that the known legally approved instrument to probe corruption in the universities was the visitation panel.
He said, “IPPIS is not the legal instrument for solving the problem of monumental fraud perpetrated by some administrators of the universities.
“IPPIS taxes rent subsidy, allowances for journals, conferences, hazards, among others. For instance, an Associate Professor pays a tax of about N672,000 per annum.
“IPPIS breaches the due process for enrolment in the national housing scheme. IPPIS deducts pensions from the allowances earlier listed. IPPIS breaches university autonomy. IPPIS breaches the law.
“The legal instrument to probe corruption in the universities is the visitation panel. For almost a decade, ASUU has been clamouring for the constitution of visitation panels in federal universities.
“We are told that they are at the point of gazetting the panels for several weeks now. Maybe, they will need like another five years to do the gazetting.
“Even when the panels visit, their reports will remain secret and empty white papers will be released with nothing actually to implement and this will be done in connivance with some unscrupulous officers of the Federal Government.”
Onyebinama called on the Federal Government to work their talk by showing zero tolerance for corruption, decrying the proliferation of universities by state governors, who could not sustain existing ones.
He said: “Yet this government was elected into office on the mantra of zero tolerance for corruption. State governments are proliferating universities without adequate funding for already established ones.
“Most vice-chancellors of state universities are at the beck and call of their visitors, unable to take any decision without recourse to their visitors.
“This struggle is not just for ASUU members. It belongs to the Nigerian people, the masses of this country. We are already down and he that is down has no reason to fear a fall. Let us all stand up for our public universities.”
Onyebinama also described the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige as a bad midwife whose babies appeared to be still-born following his inability to respect the Memorandum of Actions (MOAs), of 2017 and 2019.
Onyebinama accused the government of gambling with the future of Nigerian youths, saying the handwriting had always been on the wall about the reluctance of the government to take steps to ensure the reopening of universities this year.
He said, “It does appear that he (Ngige) is not a good midwife as those babies appear to be still born. His recent comments are a signal that universities cannot reopen this 2020, and this government is gambling with the future of Nigerian youths.
“The handwriting has always been on the wall about the reluctance of this government to take necessary steps to ensure that our universities reopen this year”, he added.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
FG Needs To Restrategise On War Against Insecurity, Osinbajo Admits
The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, admitted that the nation needs to review its “conventional means” of dealing with security challenges.
He said the government needed to do more on “local intelligence” and community policing.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a statement, said Osinbajo spoke while answering questions from reporters on his arrival at Lafia, Nasarawa State, for a one-day official visit.
Akande made the transcript of the interview available in the statement titled, “Terrorist attack on farming community in Borno: We will do all it takes to secure Nigeria, Osinbajo says.”
Reacting specifically to the recent killing of more than 43 rice farmers in Borno State, Osinbajo said such an attack could not be prepared for through conventional means.
Akande quoted Osinbajo as saying that, “As the President said, this group of people acted insanely in such a dastardly manner, killing innocent people, people who had gone to their farms to work.
“I spoke to the Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum and the former governor, Senator Kashim Shettima, to express my condolence, but more importantly, to try and think through ways of dealing with this kind of random attacks.
“It’s important to understand also that we will probably need to keep reviewing the conventional means of dealing with some of these issues, these security challenges, especially the randomness.
“This is why the President has said that he is taking a serious look at how to deal with the issues, especially the randomness: some insane person go into a place and shoot people, that is not the sort of thing that you are prepared for conventionally.
“We have to do a lot more local intelligence and some of the community policing efforts we are planning on, so that information is supplied faster, especially at the local level and then a reaction will then be possible.
“It is a major tragedy; it’s a very unfortunate thing and our hearts are with the family of those who were killed in such a terrible manner.
“We are very confident and the Federal Government will continue to do what it needs to do especially in terms of trying to ensure security in the North-East and all over Nigeria.
“You’ve heard the President and what he has to say, especially some of the new ideas around security and the security architecture which we are trying to put in place. We will get there.”
Borno Killings: Fire Service Chiefs Now, Senate Tells Buhari …Reps Summon President
The Senate, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to sack service chiefs as a result of their failure to secure Nigerians.
The Senate decision, which is the third it would pass this year, followed a motion by Senator Kashim Shettima on the recent killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The Senate asked Buhari to replace the security chiefs with new ones “immediately”.
The red chamber also asked Buhari to restructure and remodel the nation’s security architecture.
Apart from that, the chamber demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption and financial leakage levelled against some top hierarchy of the military.
The Senate asked Buhari to aggressively negotiate with the nation’s neighbouring countries for multinational cooperation in order to strengthen the war against insurgency.
It directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, NEMA and NEDC to provide succour and psychological support for the families of the victims.
It also sought proper welfare for soldiers at the war front and proper resettlement and support for the families of the fallen soldiers.
It urged the federal and state governments to address issues fuelling insecurity.
It similarly called for massive recruitment into the military and the police force.
Similarly, the House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address members in plenary over the security crises across the country.
Before the decision, plenary at the House of Representatives had turned rowdy, as members were sharply divided over a motion seeking to invite Buhari to appear before the lawmakers to explain the rising spate of insecurity in the country.
The House was considering a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of more than 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents.
Part of the prayers was to invite Buhari to appear on the floor of the House and address the lawmakers in plenary.
Efforts by the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, among others, to have the prayer dropped proved abortive.
Gbajabiamila’s plea that a state of emergency be adopted instead was also rebuffed.
The speaker was forced to ask that the lawmakers have an executive (closed-door) session.
Emerging from the closed-door session, Gbajabiamila asked one of the sponsors of the motion, Ahmad Jaha, to make an amendment to the motion.
Jaha prayed the House to invite the president as proposed in the original motion.
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
5m Jostle For Recruitment Into NIS, Civil Defence
The Federal Government has announced that aptitude tests for recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) would be conducted on December 7 and 8, respectively.
Over two million Nigerians applied for vacancies in the two agencies under the Ministry of Interior.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Director of Press in the ministry, Alhaji Mohammed Manga, the exercise would be conducted in collaboration with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Manga said the conduct of the forthcoming Computer-Based Aptitude Test for recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was aimed at ensuring transparency, equity and justice in the
He said the partnership would provide all eligible and qualified Nigerians who applied for various posts in the services equal opportunity to be employed in line with the present administration’s policy thrust of ensuring transparency in the conduct of government business.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Interior and Chairman, Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB), Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, recently assured Nigerians that the ministry would ensure transparency in the recruitment processes in to the services, Manga stated.
To this end, the ministry has concluded arrangements with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to conduct the aptitude test for eligible candidates into the Nigeria Immigration Service on the 7th of December, 2020, while that of the NSCDC is expected to hold 8th December, 2020, in the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, he added.
Manga said, “the ministry has also worked out modalities to enable qualified candidates access the notification for the aptitude tests for CBAT from 6pm on 1st December, 2020, through their e-mail addresses and phone numbers.
“Accordingly, all candidates who applied for NIS are expected to visit the website of the service at https://immigrationrecruitment.org.ng while those who applied for NSCDC and subsequently updated their educational records are to visit https://cdfipb.careers to print individual letters of invitation.”
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