Senator Ubah stated that the allegations of bribery, corruption, delayed capturing and payment of salaries of newly-recruited staff of universities call into question the credibility and suitability of IPPIS as a platform for managing universities’ payroll.
The Senate has resolved to investigate the allegations of bribery and corruption that have rocked the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) across the federation.
The decision sequels a motion titled, ‘Urgent need to investigate the alarming cases of delays in payments and allegations of corruption associated with the capturing and payment of newly recruited university staff under the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS),’ sponsored by Senator Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra South) at Wednesday plenary.
Ubah noted that the IPPIS was introduced by the Federal Government in 2007 to administer the monthly payroll of the federal government’s workers in a manner to guarantee confidence in staff emoluments and also take advantage of existing information and Communication Technology (ICT) on personnel and payroll management in other parts of the world.
He also noted that since the introduction of IPPIS, over two million federal government employees across 696 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), including some staff of federal government-owned universities and other tertiary institutions, have been reportedly captured on the IPPIS platform.
The lawmaker recalled that the use of IPPIS for storing personnel records and managing staff payroll in Federal Government-owned universities was a thorny issue between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He further noted that while the federal government insisted that IPPIS remains the best personnel records and payroll management system to be used for the storage of records and management of payroll of university staff, ASUU took a different position, recommending the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative that is most suitable for universities particularly.
“While the Federal Government and ASUU were unable to reach an agreement regarding which of the two payment platforms was to be adopted for management of university staff payroll, recent allegations of bribery, corruption and delayed capturing and payment of some university staff recruited as far back as 2020 through the IPPIS has called for urgent investigation of those irregularities because of untold hardship caused to affected university staff and their families.
In many federal government universities, staff employed as far back as 2020 are yet to be captured on the IPPIS platform and therefore are not being paid their salaries since they were recruited about three years ago.
Some of the affected staff cutting across many universities have been alleged to bribe IPPIS officials for the purpose of getting captured on the platform.
The allegations of bribery, corruption, delayed capturing and payment of salaries of newly recruited staff of federal government-owned universities have cast serious doubt on the credibility and suitability of IPPIS as a platform for managing the payroll of university staff as institutions clothed with autonomy for the purposes of teaching, learning and research,” he stated.
The motion was consequently referred to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions (when constituted) to investigate the allegations of bribery and corruption against IPPIS officials, delayed capturing and payment of staff of federal government-owned universities as well as the status of the disagreement between the Federal Government and ASUU on the use of either IPPIS or UTAS as the preferred payment platform for Nigerian university staff.
The committee is also to interact with the Head of Service, the National President of ASUU, the Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and other relevant stakeholders in carrying out its mandate and report back in two (2) weeks for further legislative action.