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Federal Government Exempts Universities, Polytechnics, and Others from IPPIS

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The Federal Government has granted approval for the exemption of universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and other tertiary institutions from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

According to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the decision was disclosed after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja at the State House.

Idris explained that the move was to grant these institutions the autonomy to manage their affairs independently, stating, “Today, the universities and other tertiary institutions have received a significant relief from the integrated personnel payroll and information system.

The Council has graciously approved the exemption. This means that going forward, these institutions will handle the remunerations of their staff internally rather than through the IPPIS.”

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, further clarified that the objective behind the decision was to ensure the efficient management of public educational institutions across the country.

Mamman emphasized that this decision does not undermine the integrity of the IPPIS or other similar systems proposed by different bodies.

He stated, “The concern is solely about the efficiency in managing universities. The president questions why Vice Chancellors must leave their responsibilities to come to Abuja for staff enlistment on IPPIS when they are recruited.”

The Minister highlighted that universities operate under specific laws granting them autonomy in various aspects, and the IPPIS system was seen to erode this autonomy.

The IPPIS was introduced by the Federal Government in October 2006 to enhance the storage of personnel records, aiming to improve transparency and accountability.

Initially covering ministries, departments, and agencies, it expanded to include institutions drawing personnel costs from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

However, the implementation of IPPIS faced resistance from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which argued that it undermines university autonomy and fails to accommodate the unique nature of academic work.

ASUU proposed an alternative system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which they believe aligns better with the specific needs of the university system, accounting for features like sabbatical leave, adjunct engagements, and part-time contracts.

The contention between ASUU and the government over IPPIS led to tensions and disruptions in academic activities, including an eight-month hiatus in educational activities that concluded in 2022.

Despite the government’s attempts to enforce IPPIS, ASUU has remained firm, advocating for the adoption of UTAS over IPPIS, which they consider ill-suited for Nigeria’s tertiary education sector.

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