By Tope Omogbolagun
The Senate, on Wednesday, launched an investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption levelled against officials of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System at various universities across the federation.
The Senate also resolved to hold an interactive session with the Head of Service, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Chairman of the Committee on Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and other relevant stakeholders.
This was sequel to a motion by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (Young Progressives Party, Anambra South) during Wednesday’s plenary.
IPPIS was introduced in 2007 to administer the monthly payroll of the federal government’s workers in a manner to guarantee confidence in staff emoluments.
There had been a disagreement between the Federal Government and ASUU on the preferred payment for Nigerian university staff.
FG insisted on IPPIS as the best payroll for the university system but ASUU rejected and recommended the University Transparency and Accountability Solution as a better alternative.
Since the introduction of the IPPIS , the university body has embarked on several strike actions to show their displeasure on the payroll method introduced by the Nigerian government.
Ubah, while moving the motion, noted that “While the Federal Government and ASUU were unable to reach an agreement regarding which of the two payment platforms to be adopted for the management of university staff payroll, recent allegations of bribery, corruption and delayed capturing and payment of some university staff recruited as far back as in 2020 through the IPPIS has called for urgent investigation of those irregularities because of untold hardship caused to affected university staff and their families.”
“The allegations of bribery, corruption, delayed capturing and payment of salaries of newly-recruited staff of Federal Government-owned universities have cast serious doubt in the credibility and suitability of IPPIS as a platform for managing the payroll of university staff as institutions clothed with autonomy for the purposes of teaching, learning and research,” he said.
The Senate, after a debate, resolved to investigate the allegations of bribery and corruption against IPPIS officials at various universities across the federation.
The Red Chamber said the investigation be carried out by its Committee on Tertiary Institutions when constituted.
Senators Adams Oshiomole (All Progressives Congress, Edo North), Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), Garba Maidoki (PDP, Kebbi South) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Peoples Democratic Party, Gombe North) supported the motion when it was thrown for debate.