The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has accused the Federal Government of accessing the Bio-Metric Verification Number, BVN, details of its members illegally in order to get them enrolled into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, through the back door.
Therefore, the union, through its National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said it will challenge the action, saying it is against the regulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which does not allow any person to have access to another person’s BVN details without the consent of the account owner.
Ogunyemi, who spoke in a chat with Vanguard at the weekend, said though the government asked for his members’ bank account numbers to allow for the payment of February and March 2020 salaries that were withheld, the BVNs were not submitted and expressed sadness that the government went behind to access the BVNs.
“What the government did was not only illegal but criminal. When they seized our February and March 2020 salaries and after a series of meetings, they agreed to pay us, they only requested our account numbers. We were surprised that they went ahead to harvest our BVN details.
This is uncalled for. We are going to take them up on that. They are just being clever by half. They think they can enrol us in the IPPIS through the backdoor.” We have not changed our position on IPPIS. It is not good for the university system and cannot work.
It lacks the flexibility to be deployed in the university system. Look at how they are mutilating salaries of workers and coming up with cock and bull story of tax deductions and others. As we speak now, some of our members are yet to get their February and March salaries,” he said.
On whether ASUU will call off its ongoing strike if schools are reopened soon, Ogunyemi said it depends on the government meeting the union’s demands.“It is a mistake to believe it is only the IPPIS issue that we have with the government, infact, that is just a distraction. They brought that one in to distract everybody. There are more salient issues.
We ask for Visitation Panels to be set up and sent to our schools. The last time it was done, a lot of rot was discovered. We are also demanding a revitalisation of the system. The implementation of the Memorandum of Action on our previous agreement with the government. We also have the issue of state universities among others,” he noted.The ASUU boss urged the government to see the education sector as critical to the development of the country and accord it the needed priority.
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