By John Omachonu
Although the platform was introduced to curb corruption such as payment of salaries to ghost workers and padding of budgets, there are still cases of alleged corruption involving billions of Naira even from the offi e where it is domiciled.
The general concensus from the street is tha apart from using the system to fleece poor Nigerians, the agony and trauma of students in public universities and their parents for the past over seven months is as a result of funds related issues with the IPPIS at the centre.
While government says and understandably too, that the nation’s income streams have reduced with the attendant dwindling revenue, ASUU on the other hand is accusing government officials of misapplication and misappropriation, using the instrumentality of IPPIS and as such have opted for UTAS developed by the lecturers.
ASUU has said that IP, since it’s introduction had contributed to about 75 percent of the problems affecting Nigeria’s University system.
The meeting by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker and other principal officers was sequel to an earlier one held with ASUU officials on Tuesday where issues related to the strike were discussed.
In fact, the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting ocassioned the meeting which also included, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Accountant General of the Federation, among others.
“At Thursday’s meeting, NITDA told the House leadership that IPPIS, the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS) failed its integrity tests regarding the university payroll, which the agency conducted between March and June this year,” the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, Lanre Lasisi, said in a statement.
“He said following the first test, ASUU was asked to go back and review, which it did. Yet, the platform did not meet NITDA’s requirements the second time.
“For the third time, NITDA was then asked to conduct tests on UTAS, IPPIS, and U3PS, which the official said all three platforms failed its requirements regarding the payroll system of universities.”
Lasisi added that “Not satisfied with the explanation, Speaker Gbajabiamila asked if NITDA advised the government to take action on the lapses found on IPPIS, which has been in operation by the government since 2011. But the NITDA official said they were not in a position to do that.
“Gbajabiamila also asked if NITDA queried the IPPIS platform, to which the official responded in the negative.
“But the Head of Service, in her explanation, said the ministry of communications and digital economy wrote her office following NITDA’s observations about IPPIS on the need to take a holistic look at the platform and that a committee was empaneled to carry out the assignment.
“She also noted that IPPIS is not just a payment platform but that it also has a human resource component, which all government agencies have been directed to activate, noting that all those directly under her purview have since complied.
But, further interactions showed that, rather than encouraging staff to embark on the training and to as well under study the technical partners, it has been, rather, looking for possible loopholes to exploit them to their advantage.
Also speaking at the meeting, the acting Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh, said under no circumstance should employees dictate to their employers how they should be paid, faulting ASUU’s insistence on UTAS.
After hours of deliberations, the Speaker suggested that a further follow-up meeting with ASUU officials be held on Thursday, (today).
Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, revealed on Tuesday in Abuja during an oversight visit by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Service Matters,who came for monitoring of the 2021 and 2022 Budget performance of the office.
Yemi-Esan disclosed that this ugly development led to the suspension of 874 officers from the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) platforms for not updating their records and 3,657 workers detected by the Federal Civil Service Commission, who did not present themselves for the exercise.
In her Presentation,Yemi-Esan, said the introduction and implementation of the Human Resource component (HR Module) of IPPIS has greatly assisted the Federal Government in bridging the gap created by the implementation of the IPPIS project.
This is in spite of the alleged employment racketeering at the federal civil service as well as MDAs.
He said that IPPIS is a fraudulent tool through which public funds are being siphoned, just as he demanded the eradication of spending of American dollars in Nigeria.
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He noted that with the instrumentality of IPPIS, the former accountant- general was able to steal billions of naira, saying the money that one man stole can take care of the needs of ASUU.
So Nigerians arewondering why the federal government seems irrevocably committed to the IPPIS despite its failings that have brought mental and physical tortures on the citizens through systems decay and deprivation.
Some Nigerians are asking as to whether IPPIS may have succeeded in centralizing corruption as against centralization of staff related issues and functions for efficiency and consequently, improved productivity.