According to a report by The PUNCH, the Academic Staff Union of Universities said the arrest and detention of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, over alleged N80 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has proved the union’s opposition to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System right that the system is a conduit.
According to ASUU, the IPPIS was allegedly being used to render the oppressed Nigerian workers poorer and expose them to more poverty in the midst of the country’s rich resources.
This was contained in a statement titled, ‘ASUU has been vindicated over opposition to IPPIS’, issued on Sunday by the chairman of ASUU at the Federal University, Otuoke, Socrates Ebo.
The statement partly read, “The arrest and detention of the Accountant-General of the Federation has exposed to Nigerians what ASUU has always known. IPPIS has always been a conduit pipe that a heartless government mafia has been using to milk the country dry and oppress the long-suffering, hapless, poverty-damaged Nigerian workers.
“It is sad that Nigerian workers have continued to groan under government oppression in a country that is endowed with plenty and abundance of every gift of nature one can think of.
“It is sad enough that Nigerian lecturers are paid next to nothing. On top of that, the IPPIS mafia in government still steal from that meagre salary in the name of all manner of fraudulent and arbitrary deductions!
“Why is it difficult for Nigeria to produce a single world-class university while lesser endowed countries like Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia and South Africa boast of far better equipped universities?
“We thank the government for finally remembering to pay some lecturers their minimum wage arrears after three good months, but what crime have lecturers committed that the government has maliciously withheld their salary for three good months under the present unpleasant economy?
“So, the government shamelessly wants to punish lecturers for demanding that government should make our universities better?
“So, it is now an offence to urge government to develop and improve education? Why is government bent on starving lecturers to submission? Why is government bent on punishing us with starvation? Is the country not hard enough already?”
The PUNCH had reported that the EFCC had on May 16 announced the arrest of Idris over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.
The PUNCH also reported that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, through a letter dated May 18, 2022, suspended Idris “without pay” in order to “allow for proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules, following his arrest.