Workers Pay: FG to begin full implementation of IPPIS end of October as ASUU Kicks

The federal government has restated its commitment to fully implement the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) before the end of October.

This was revealed by Ag Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF), Folashade Yemi-Esan, on Monday at a capacity building workshop, organised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) in Abuja.

Mrs Yemi-Esan said the federal government would stop staff members of the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that were not under the system from collecting salaries by the end of October.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CIPM, established in 1968 and chartered by Act No. 58 of 1992, is the apex regulatory body for the practice of human resource management in Nigeria.

Part of its core mandates is to develop and maintain high standards of professional competence and ensure that the management of human resources in Nigeria, both in the public and private sectors, conforms to professional standards.

The workshop, held in collaboration with the office of the HOCSF, was attended by Heads of States` Civil Service and Permanent Secretaries across the 36 states of the federation.

While stressing the need for others to key into the IPPIS initiative, Mrs Yemi-Esan explained that it was one of the mechanisms introduced by the government to improve efficiency in service delivery to Nigerians.

She said the system has very good objective, which was meant to improve efficiency in the payroll system, enhance data integrity, eliminate ghost workers and consolidate staff records and management.

She, however, said while appreciable work had been put in place since the commencement of IPPIS, the process had also met with some impediments, particularly the refusal of some public servants to be enrolled.

“Notwithstanding this however, we are working round the clock to remove all the bottlenecks for the full implementation of the module, particularly following Mr President`s directive to that effect come October end,” she added.

While tasking the states’ HOCS on service delivery in their respective states, Mrs Yemi-Esan said public service had tried to reform itself and that a lot had been done even though the result had yet to be achieved.

“You will agree with me that managing people, which is crucial for change, is the most challenging and the most critical component of any institutional or organisational transformation process.

“A very good example, which many of us can relate to, can be drawn from the period between the late 90s and the turn of the millennium when government initiated moves to introduce e-governance to the public service.

“First by introducing ICT tools such as desktop computers to replace the manual typewriters.

“I discovered that the innovation met with the considerable amount of resistance, particularly from those who felt that their securities were threatened and that their schedules will be taken away from them,” she said.

Christopher Kolade, in his presentation entitled “Role of the Professional-led Bureaucracy in Nation Building”, advocated for giving chance to professionals in all sectors of government system.

Mr Kolade said this was in the best interest of nation building, as they could play significant role in developing the needed human capacity with their God-given skills.

As the country was transforming the public service sector, he called on public servants to demonstrate professionalism, transparency and impartiality in the performance of their duties, if the nation would achieve its objectives.

Earlier in his address, President/Chairman of the Governing Council of CIPM, Wale Adediran, said the purpose of the workshop was to obtain skills to transform the nation’s public service into the 21st century service system.

Mr Adediran explained further that the aim was to facilitate and catalyse sustainable development at national, state and local government levels.

“As the apex regulatory body for the practice of HR in Nigeria, CIPM has been championing initiatives that drive professionalism and capacity development of organisations and people.

“In the light of the critical and strategic role that a professionalised civil service plays in sustainable national development and economic growth, there is the need for professionalisation of civil service, particularly the human resource functions,” he said.

In other news, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is reportedly planning a showdown with the Federal Government over a planned imposition of Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS) on its members.
ASUU leaders were said to have held an emergency national executive council meeting.

During the meeting, the Nigerian union of university academic staff, concluded that its leadership at university levels should begin to mobilise its members for an action against the federal government.

Speaking on the development, Chairman, ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, Deji Omole said that while the union is not against accountability, it will not allow the government violate existing laws and autonomy of the university.

“Forceful imposition of IPPIS on university workers is a violation of the university autonomy act. It is therefore illegal,” Omole said.

Omole said that despite ASUU’s offer to help the government design a template that will factor in the peculiarities of university lecturers in the IPPIS, the government settled for the World Bank-designed exploitative template.

According to Omole, the government’s adopted template was designed to suppress lecturers as it does not make provisions for payment of arrears of promotion, study leave allowance, responsibility allowance, among others.

Omole further explained that the adopted template was designed to phase out university lecturers above 60 years of age against the new policy where professors retired at 70 years of age.

As expected, this development has resulted in unease among Nigerian university students who are unfortunately all too familiar with the so-called strikes.

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