The President Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union COEASU Dr. Smart Olugbeko
has applauded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under the leadership of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for exempting tertiary institutions from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

According to him this is one of the best decisions taken so far by the President since he assumed office.

The president also commended the Honourable Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, who brought the attention of President Tinubu to the obnoxious IPPIS and its damaging effects to the education sector.

By this development, the College of Education (COE) system in particular and the tertiary education sector in general, have been delivered from the backward bureaucratic bottlenecks, encumbrances and corrupt practices associated with the centralized pay system. Our exemption from IPPIS has restored normal procedure for staff recruitment as it will stop donation of staff by some opaque stakeholders.

Now, the Governing Councils and Provosts will be able to perform their constitutional roles as the managers of their respective institutions; they will be able to effectively exercise their statutory control over staff recruitment, promotion, discipline and payroll administration. It has also ended the frustrations imposed by intractable errors of IPPIS against individual staff, such as short-payment, regular pay omission, withholding and/or delay in remittance of third party deductions, to mention just a few.

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. As at 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.

However, 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 problem accessing their funds, leading to shortfalls and inability to pay salaries promptly in order 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 (PEAA), 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 watch dog and will not allow the golden opportunity to be abused by the Provosts or Governing Councils.