The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Bola Tinubu has approved the exit of workers in all public universities and other tertiary institutions from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, made the disclosure while briefing State House Correspondents about the outcome of the meeting.
The federal government had, in October, said the introduction of IPPIS led to about 70,000 ghost workers being eliminated from the payroll.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had, in 2020, gone on eight months 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.
According to the minister, universities and other tertiary institutions in the country, have been authorised to discontinue with the use of IPPIS.
According to Idris, “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 other tertiary institutions have been clamouring for exemption from the system.
“Today, council has graciously approved that. What that means is that going forward, the universities and other tertiary institutions, including 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.”
The Minister of Education, Prof. Mamman Tahir, said the approval of the removal of universities and other tertiary institutions in the country from the IPPIS allows schools to deal with the salary issues of their staff internally.
He said the FEC took the decision because of its concern for efficiency and management of the institutions.
According to him, apart from the opposition to the payment system by ASUU, the IPPS issue had proved time consuming for the 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 also said removing tertiary institutions from the IPPIS platform and from seeking the authority of the Head of Civil Service for recruitment would allow the institutions to deal with salary issues of their staff, as well as recruitment internally.
“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, 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 relating to personnel very difficult. Today’s Council has decided, and they have been taken out of that service. So, this is a very important development for the vice chancellors, because it will allow for efficient management of the universities and tertiary education, generally speaking.
“Secondly, before now, when tertiary institutions want to make an appointment, they have to write to the Office of the Head of Service for waiver or approval.
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 education minister also said council approved the construction of senate building at the University of Nigeria, and funds for the National Examination Council (NECO).