The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has voice out as it presses on its demands. ASUU revealed that the “force enrolment of University lecturers” integrated in the payment and personel platform system by the Federal government has led to the sacking of contract Lecturers in the higher institution.
It cautioned that such moves weakens the university autonomy to recruit competent and qualified local and foreign scholars, as it is done in other advanced countries.
According ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, lecturers at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, and the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, have not received their February and March salaries respectively.
Ogunyemi stated; “There are still two universities which had not got their salaries – Michael Okpara University and the University of Maiduguri. What we also suspected has now been confirmed; they forcefully moved our members to the IPPIS and consequently, contract staff have been sacked. And the disengagement of the contract staff is a disservice to the Nigerian university system as we have it today.
“The first problem with that is that it is going to rob our universities of the high calibre human resources in certain areas. These are areas where we have a scarcity of personnel. If I ask you, how many professors of neurosurgery do we have in Nigeria? I don’t think they are more than five, and universities have to produce neurosurgeons.
“These are the people who have to train a new crop of academics because it takes a professor to produce a professor. So, when you dispose of their services, you have cut off that chain of continuity.
“The disengagement has started in Federal University, Wukari, and the BUK, Kano. By doing that, IPPIS is creating a problem by appropriating the powers of the council in terms of employment, promotion, and disengagement of the people in the system.”
Federal Ministry of Education responded to ASUU’s statement by making it clear that some universities were fraudulent in their employment of contract staff, stressing that the FG needed to minimize the huge personnel spendings that overwhelmed universities due to the irregularities in the system.