In a renewed effort aimed at getting all workers in its employment to enroll on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS), the federal government has issued a fresh directive to all staff of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to enroll on the scheme on or before Thursday, June 18, 2020.
The latest directive by the federal government was extended to agencies not formerly captured by the salary platform, including departments and agencies in the oil and gas sector.
The two unions in the oil and gas sector, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG), confirmed the deadline in their protest letter to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva at the weekend.
The unions said that their members would not register on IPPIS until the issues relating to peculiarities in the oil and gas sector are sorted out.
“We are in receipt of a copy of a directive from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation directing federal ministries, departments and agencies to enroll on IPPIS on or before Thursday, June 18, 2020, threatening to stop further release of personnel cost if the directive is ignored.
“ Please be informed that the association/union’s apprehension about IPPIS stems from the fact that it discountenances the peculiarities of the oil and gas industry, with regard to the collective bargaining agreement and approved pay structure between the unions and federal government through the Income, Salaries and Wages Commission.
The unions kicked against the directive by the Accountant General, insisting that its members would not comply with directive on the enrollment into IPPIS.
In a protest letter written to the Minister of State for Petroleum by PENGASSAN and NUPENG, the unions said that they were surprised that the Accountant General is ignoring the existing payment platform,
Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).
“We reiterate that industrial peace in the sector cannot be guaranteed if the salaries of our members are stopped or if the implementation is carried out unilaterally without our input,” it said.
The two unions said they are expecting the minister to use his good offices to prevail on the Accountant General not to implement the directive on the enrollment into IPPIS until the issued around it are amicably resolved
PENGASSAN’s General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa and NUPENG’s General Secretary, Comrade Okaleye Afolabi jointly signed the protest letter.
In a related development, the members of the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) have threatened to go on strike if after 24 days the federal government is unable to correct the anomalies created by IPPIS.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising of SSANU and the Non-NASU, has said that the government does not need to call for a meeting before it pays members their full salaries and release their payment slips.
The Samson Ugwoke-led JAC has also issued a 14-day ultimatum to the federal government to correct all the problems associated with the payment of salary through the IPPIS platform and release their Earned Allowances before the easing of the lockdown, or else the members will not resume duties when schools resume.
However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has pledged that the federal government would resolve all the anomalies in IPPIS.
Speaking with regard to the notice of strike issued by the non-teaching staff in the universities and the allegation of payment of half salaries to members of the unions, Ngige said that efforts were on top gear to correct all the problems.
According to him, “We are on top of the situation, we have received their letter. Their letter borders on shortcomings of the IPPIS system and I have spoken with the Finance Minister and the Accountant General of the Federation and they said that they are in touch with the University Bursars to correct certain peculiarities and send back to them to treat”.