-Also exempted from seeking approval for recruitment from Head of Service
ABUJA — The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the removal of universities and other tertiary institutions in the country from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) allowing the schools to deal with the salary issues of their staff internally.
The Minister of Education, Prof. Mamman Tahir, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting presided over by President Bola Tinubu at the Council Chamber, presidential villa in Abuja.
The Minister also said Council relieved managements of tertiary institutions of the burden of obtaining approval and waiver from the Office of the Head of Service for recruitment.
He said FEC took the decision to remove the institutions from the system because of its concern for efficiency and the management of the institutions.
According to him, apart from the opposition to the payment system by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the IPPS issue had proved time consuming for university vice chancellors, “dragging the efficiency of the management of the institutions.”
The minister explained that as the tertiary institutions are governed by laws, they should be allowed to exercise their autonomy.
He said, “It was a very happy day for the education sector because one of the problems which the vice chancellors, rectors and provosts of colleges of education, those managing the tertiary sector in Nigeria, have been complaining about has been the subscription to the IPPIS
“You know what IPPIS does, which has made recruitment and many other activities of the university remitting to personnel very difficult. Now today’s Council decided, the President has directed that vice chancellor should no longer…they have been taken out of that service. So this is a very, very important development for the vice chancellors that will allow for efficient management of the universities and tertiary education generally speaking.
“Then secondly, which is connected to that, before now when the tertiary institutions want to make an appointment, they have to write to the Office of the Head of Service for waiver or approval or that sort of thing.
“Today, the Council, through the directive of the President, has exempted them. They don’t have to go to the Office of the Head of Service because it is actually not in their line of supervision.
The IPPIS had been a bone of contention between university lecturers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2020, ASUU, which went on a eight-month strike due to disputes with the Federal Government regarding the payment platform opted for the University Transparency Account System (UTAS).
The IPPIS was introduced by the federal government in October 2006 as part of its reform initiatives to effectively store personnel records and promote transparency and accountability.
Giving more clarity to the approval on IPPIS, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, said “today, the universities and other tertiary institutions have gotten a very big relief from the integrated personnel payroll and information system. You will recall that the university authorities and the others have been clamouring for the exemption of the universities and other tertiary institutions from this system.
“Today, council has graciously approved that. What that means is that going forward, the universities like the Honorable Minister of Education has said and other tertiary institutions, the polytechnics and colleges of education will be taken off the IPPIS.
“What that means in simple language is that the university authorities and other tertiary institutions will now be paying their own personnel from their own end instead of relying on the IPPIS”, he said.
The education minister also said council approved the construction of Senate Building at University of Nigeria and funds to National Examination Council (NECO).