ASUU: UI, LAUTECH Demand Return of Funds Deducted by FG During Strike

June 27, 2024

The University of Ibadan (UI) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) chapters of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), have sent a strong message to the Federal Government, demanding the return of union funds deducted from their salaries during the recent strike action.

The chairmen of the two universities’ branches of the union, Professor Ayo Akinwole (UI) and Dr Babatunde Lawal (LAUTECH), equally tasked the federal and state governments in Nigeria to give more and due attention to tertiary education funding.

While addressing newsmen on Thursday, shortly after protesting against the foot-dragging attitude of the federal government to the demands of the union, the ASUU bosses said the demands of the union were legitimate, arguing that an improved conditions of learning would contribute to the development of science and technology and national development.

Calling on the Federal Government to release the third party deductions which included cooperative contributions, pension deductions and union check-off dues made through the IPPIS platform to the union, Dr Lawal said prompt action and not delay strategy would work in this regard.

He said, “IPPIS is a violation of the university autonomy as well as the Acts establishing the Universities. Added to this illegality is its notoriety as a fraudulent platform that is inflicting unprecedented hardship on Nigerian academics and corruptly distorting university operations with respect to the payroll management.”

“It is on these grounds that ASUU is consistently rejecting IPPIS. We are, however, worried that the grip of IPPIS on the universities is far from being eased more than four months after the government directed the exit of federal universities and other tertiary institutions from the discredited payment platform.”

“As of today, the salaries of our members are still whimsically withheld, just as third-party deductions (cooperative contributions, pension deductions, and union check-off dues) are not released.

“The platform, with all its encumbrances, is still being used to pay our members under the disguise of ‘New IPPIS’ contrary to the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC’s) directive.”

This comes as the Chairman of the union at the University of Ibadan, Professor Akinwole, after the University of Ibadan ASUU protested against the precarious conditions under which lecturers worked.

He described as fraudulent, deduction of funds of unions and cooperative societies members belong to without remitting same since 2020.

“Members of the Union by lawful association subscribe to unions, cooperative and other sundry societies within their respective Universities where they pay monthly check-off dues, deductions, contributions etc.

“In line with the extant labour laws and industrial best practices, these labelled third party deductions are deducted from source ( directly from their monthly salaries ) and are expectedly to be remitted directly to the account of the beneficiary unions and societies on behalf of subscribed members.

“Due to the menace of IPPIS, these dues have now been deducted by the operators of the IPPIS since February 2020. Some of these deductions made by the IPPIS since 2020 have not been released to these unions and societies. This is not only an act of sabotage but also fraudulent.”

Akinwole stated added: “We cannot fold our arms and allow the university system in Nigeria to be destroyed by successive transient governments. It is our historic duty as a union of intellectuals to defend university education in Nigeria and protect knowledge production for future generations.”

They jointly urged government to ulitise the new window of opportunity presented to it by the union to resolve all outstanding issues in order to avert industrial crisis in public universities.