President Muhammadu Buhari saturday declared that any opposition to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System IPPIS would be viewed as economic sabotage.
Buhari made the declaration at the 29th convocation of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, noting that the policy was irreversible.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in some federal tertiary Institutions nationwide had opposed the policy, saying the central payroll system violates university autonomy.
Buhari, who was represented by Minister of Communication, Alhaji Ali Pantami said the country “is currently beset with multifaceted challenges. We are equally adopting a multi prong approach in order to combat them
“Our effort is appreciable and success recorded so far is also encouraging. Some of the solutions we have adopted may be painstaking but we are resolute and confident that in the end our country will be a better place for all.
“Just as we are diversifying our economy tapping into our strings of revenue to revamp our economy, we have also remained resolute in ensuring that we plug the loopholes in public finance so as to eliminate fraud and retrieve funds which can be used to address challenges such as infrastructural deficit and unemployment.
“It is for this reason that my administration gave a directive that every employee of the federal government of Nigeria including the federal universities must be enrolled in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information system (IPPIS).
“This decision mindful as its sectoral policy is, is irreversible as such any opposition to this directive is an unwelcome tendency towards economic sabotage”
Buhari said the federal government would continue to revamp the education sector to make it deliver quality education to Nigerians, a reason the second largest allocation of N150bn was allocated to the sector in addition to another N272bn to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
At the convocation, Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello said those in leadership position to pay adequate attention to the provision of functional education which remains the most reliable foundation for sustainable and societal transformation
“As political leaders, nothing apart from security of lives and property should occupy our attention more than education if we are determined to improve the lives of our people,” Bello said.
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, said 168 students were withdrawn from the institution during the academic year for various reasons bordering on poor academic performance.
Among those shown the exit doors were 120 undergraduate and 48 postgraduate students, Bala said describing the action “ as very painful but necessary” for the growth of the university.
He expressed the hope that the decision “will send a message to the students that we expect the best from them as much as possible”
At the maiden convocation of the university, he disclosed that over 400 students in various categories including high academic performance (CGPA 4.5 and above) good conduct and attraction of laurels for the University received the vice chancellors award.
According to him, 4502 student graduated at the ceremony with 3597 receiving their first degrees, 629 Masters degree and 94 doctoral degrees.