The Academic Staff Union of Universities in the South East has insisted that enrollment of its members into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System will erode autonomy of universities.
The ASUU leaders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews, said they were in total support of the position of the national leadership of the union.
Dr Egwu Ogugua, ASUU chairman of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi pointed out that members of the union were committed to the collective struggle.
“We have recorded 100 per cent compliance to ASUU National Executive Council and the ASUU AE-FUNAI Congress resolution to reject the forceful migration to IPPIS.
“We are committed to the struggle and no member of the branch has shown up to be enrolled.
“The university is an autonomous entity and enrolling lecturers into the IPPIS will erode and violate this autonomy with attendant ugly effect on the standard of university education in Nigeria.
“It violates existing laws and autonomy of the universities and also IPPIS does not make provisions for payment of arrears of promotion, study leave allowance and responsibility allowance among others,” Ogugua said.
Dr Gilbert Ekuma, a university lecturer and human rights activist urged the Federal Government to toe the path of dialogue with ASUU to avert disruption of academic activities in the nation’s federal universities.
“We have had enough of strikes which continue to lower standard of university education and make products from our ivory towers look inferior before their foreign counterparts.
“Incessant strikes have led to brain drain as most of the nation’s best brains are leaving for European, America and even other African countries to look for greener pasture.
“The federal government has threatened to stop salaries of the university teachers for refusing to enroll into IPPIS while lecturers have responded by threatening a nationwide showdown with the government.
“Any nationwide strike by ASUU will further worsen situation in our universities and this will not be in the best interest of the nation and our students in particular,” Ekuma said.
The union said that in place of the IPPIS, it had offered to be given the opportunity to develop an alternative to IPPIS.
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU in Owerri Zone, Comrade Uzo Onyebinama, also maintained that IPPIS violated university autonomy and FGN/ASUU agreement and did not address the peculiarity inherent in the nature and structure of universities.
“Specifically, IPPIS violates and erodes university autonomy inherent in the extent provisions of section 2AA of the Universities Miscellaneous Provision (Amendment) Act 2003,” he said.
The ASUU zonal coordinator noted that academic activities (teaching, research and community service) in universities had specific milestones with timeliness.