The Federal Government on Friday paid university lecturers in 43 federal universities the contentious two months withheld salaries for February and March.
Some branch chairmen and a zonal coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) confirmed to Sunday Sun that members received bank alert on Friday with anomalies in the payment.
The payment of the withheld salaries came after President Muhammadu Buhari intervened and directed the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) to release the February and March salaries to the affected ASUU members, who had earlier rejected the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Attempt by the OAGF to pay the withheld salaries by demanding for the lecturers’ Bank Verification Number (BVN) was rejected by ASUU.
ASUU Lagos Zone Coordinator, Prof Olusiji Sowande acknowledged the payment, but added; “the withheld salaries was paid though we don’t know the details yet. Consultation is ongoing and the union will react appropriately.”
Chairman of ASUU, University of Port Harcourt branch, Dr Austen Sado told our correspondent that the situation would be reviewed.
Also, ASUU, University of Lagos branch chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru, said that “reports indicate that the majority of members received payment alert for the unlawfully withheld salaries for the months of February and March.”
According to him, the payment was made on the rejected IPPIS platform, which confirms “our age-long conviction that IPPIS is a fraud as it can be manipulated by those vehemently agitating for the forceful implementation of the scheme.”
Dr Ashiru commended members for their sacrifices and commitment to the principled struggle of the union and advised them to be prudent and conserve funds as the face-off is far from being over on account of the payment.
“Our struggle goes beyond the question of salary payment/IPPIS. Our members are advised to remain resolute and steadfast as we await further directive from the national leadership,” he said.
A lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira confirmed receipt of the February and March salaries through the rejected IPPIS platform.
“I and my colleagues are wondering how the OAGF got ASUU members enrolled on the IPPIS platform which the union had earlier rejected. Our national leadership should take up the issue with the appropriate authorities, “ the ABU senior lecturer said.
The image-maker of OAGF, Mr Henshaw Ogubike did not respond to question on how the payment was made when the affected ASUU members in 43 federal universities did not enrol on the IPPIS platform.
Currently, ASUU members nationwide are on strike to press home the non-implementation of 2009 signed agreement, other Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), IPPIS issue and renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.