I Earn Salary Of Graduate Assistant - Sulyman Abdulkareem, VC Unilorin
More glitches in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), used in effecting salary payments for Federal Government workers were revealed after the vice-chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, said that he is being paid the wages of a graduate assistant as against his statutory payment at the end of the month. Such a payment is estimated to be more than 500 per cent decrease in the statutory emoluments of vice-chancellor in a Federal university like Unilorin.
The professor made this disclosure on Monday at a press briefing marking the beginning of the 36th convocation ceremony of the University in Ilorin.
Prof Abdulkareem also stated that he has no regrets making peace with the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) stating that not doing so previously, had caused the university untold damages.
The VC also used the occasion to tell the public of the many achievements of the school which is set to convoke a total of 10, 922 students at the convocation ceremonies.
The vice-chancellor though admitted that the IPPIS, as a payment system, is quite innovative and subscribes to all university workers migrating to the platform, however, observed that the platform has its challenges.
”A system created to solve one problem shouldn’t be seen to be creating other ones.
”You can’t imagine that I am being paid the salary of a graduate assistant rather than as the VC as it should be by the IPPIS system,” he said.
He however added that he believes that the glitches will be sorted out soon.
IPPIS and the skewed payments it has been affecting to academic staff has drawn flaks from the public of late.
Only recently, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, admitted that the process has brought about wrong payments where some lecturers are paid as low as N6, 000 per month.
The OAGF however put the fault at the feet of members of the ASUU, saying that they failed to be captured during the biometric exercise.
Reacting to trending talks about the merit of Unilorin rejoining ASUU, Prof Abdulkareem said that he has no regrets whatsoever taking the university back into the fold of the academic union.
The university broke off as a member of ASUU at the height of an industrial crisis in 2001 but returned some three years back.
“Those who complain about Unilorin being back in the fold of ASUU do not even know what the university has lost or the damage such action has caused us.
“The university has paid a huge price for its staff not being part of the university unions. It took the effort of the unions to get us the earned allowance from the Federal government.
“Even when the money was released by the government it became an issue for the university to get it’s own N700 million for the staff because it was the unions that fought for the money and Unilorin, was not part of them.
The VC explained that it took the university being part of the union to unlock the money for the benefits of the varsity staffers.
He also explained that staff and even graduates of the university suffered untold victimisation wherever they went on account of not being part of ASUU.
“Our students were victimised both home and abroad, lecturers couldn’t get fellowships in other campuses.
“It wasn’t easy,” Prof Abdulkareem said.
But giving an account of 2019/2020, the chief executive officer of Unilorin said that the institution achieved remarkable feats despite the ravages of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
For instance, the university got nominated for the Top 100 Achievements Award in the UK.
“In addition, the university emerged as one of the universities that produced the most employed graduates in Nigeria.
“What this says is that employers of labour should be fair to our graduates.
“They claim that our graduates are not well trained to take up jobs out there, that is not fair. “Our students are well trained. All the employer needs to do is give them orientations and they will deliver,” he said.