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IPPIS: FG Moves Lecturers’ Salaries To GIFMIS, Ignores ASUU’s UTAS

The Federal Government has moved the payment of the salaries of lecturers in federal universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to the Government Integrated Financial Management System( GIFMIS).

The GIFMIS is an IT-based system for budget management and accounting, put in place by the Federal Government to improve public expenditure management processes and enhance greater accountability and transparency across ministries and agencies.

The move was disclosed in a letter written by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Didi Watson-Jack, to the National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education and National Commission for Colleges of Education.

The letter signed by the permanent secretary on March 24,2024, noted that the move to GIFMIS platform was aimed at ensuring an effective and efficient management of financial systems in the institutions after they were removed from the Integrated Personnel Payment System (IPPIS).

The Federal government had in December 2023, exempted the tertiary institutions from the use of IPPIS for the payment of their staff salaries and allowances.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had suggested a platform it created, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative to the IPPIS.

However, the federal government in the letter chose the GIFMIS platform which it claims “will aid strategic management of public financial resources for enhanced accountability, transparency, cost effective public service delivery, and economic growth and poverty reduction efforts.”

The letter stated that the institutions are to conduct periodic biometric verification of all its staff, noting that the GIFMIS platform was still in use in the institution’s financial operations on overhead, capital and operations cost.

“This requires a prior pre-registration of all employees on the institutions’ payroll on the GIFMIS platform. Relevant schedule officers shall be put in place to manage the GIFMIS system,” it said.

In the new set of guidelines, the federal government noted that higher institutions’ Governing Councils and management are to assume full responsibility for policy direction and statutory duties of the institution which include recruitment, promotion, disengagement and discipline of staff.

The Governing Councils are to ensure full compliance with the laws and conditions of service of the institutions and other applicable laws and circulars for effective and efficient governance.

It added that no tertiary institution shall employ any category of staff not provided for in its budget for the particular year.

“All employment must be based on needs of the institution and to be properly advertised, candidates interviewed and the best employed;

“All newly established tertiary institutions must secure approval for their staffing requirements from their respective regulatory bodies and the Ministry of Education.

“Any temporary recruitment shall be restricted to only senior lecturers and professorial cadres and should not account for more than five per cent in any given year and such appointment shall not last more than one year.

“Councils and administrators to avoid discriminate and disproportionate employment of staff and shall adhere to NUC’s recommendation of academic to 1:5 of non-academics staff ratio,” it said.

The letter noted that a high degree of probity and transparency is expected in the management of funds of the institutions through the platform.

It further added that there will be regular auditing and submission of reports to appropriate agencies of government as prescribed by law; and a consequence system would be put in place for the Council and management of any institution that defaults in adherence to these policies, statutory obligations and procedures.

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