To cushion the effects of COVID-19, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate payment of the withheld February and March salaries of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members, who have not registered on the Federal Government Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) platform.
Buhari has, therefore, directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant-General of the Federation to effect the payments urgently.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, announced this in Abuja on Tuesday evening.
Persecondnews recalls that ASUU had in March declared an indefinite strike over government’s insistence on enrolling all university staff members across the country in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPIS) and the withholding of their salaries.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has today (Tuesday) approved the immediate payment of the withheld salaries of February and March 2020 of the university lecturers, who have not registered on the IPPIS platform.
“He has also directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant-General of the Federation to effect the payments urgently by all means to cushion the deleterious effects of COVID-19 period on the lecturers and members of their family.
“All vice-chancellors are to revalidate affected lecturers’ Bank Verification Number, BVN, and forward same to the Accountant-General of the Federation for the payments,’’ he said.
During the lockdown, ASUU President, Dr Biodun Ogunyemi, had accused the federal government of using “hunger as a weapon of war against its academics’’.
The Federal Government had enrolled all staff on its payroll as part of efforts to fight ghost workers and stem corruption in the federal civil service.