The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, has explained why university workers are often at loggerheads with the Federal Government.
Idris blamed the frosty relationship between the two to the communication gap existing between them as a result of of the misunderstanding of the ongoing reform initiatives in the system.
Idris was speaking when the Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities visited him in his in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the implementation of the ongoing financial management policies and the various financial reforms initiatives were part of the determination by the Federal Government to entrench transparency, accountability and openness in the management of public finances.
He urged the universities and their workers to key fully into the vision of the present administration to entrench transparency and accountability in all sectors of the economy.
“Based on my interactions with some members of the university community, I have discovered that there is an obvious communication gap due to misunderstanding regarding some of these reforms. This knowledge gap has resulted in the animosity between the university workers and the government towards these reforms initiatives,” he said.
As managers of financial resources in Nigerian Universities, he charged the Bursars to undertake to enlighten and educate other employees of universities on the reform initiatives by the government to end this misunderstanding.
Urging the leadership of Nigerian Universities to entrench the ideals of transparency, accountability and openness in the management of financial resources of the universities, Idris said the judicious management of public finances has become an imperative, particularly at this time when revenue inflows into ther government treasury is becoming a big challenge.
He charged the management of Nigerian Universities to be more innovative, more up and doing with regards to internally generated revenue as additional source of funding to avoid always looking up to the government for revenue on all matters requiring funding.
“The government builds the infrastructure, pays the overhead ans personnel costs. There is need for the universities to reexamine and reappraise other sources of income for the universities and ensure their judicious application for the good of the system’, he advised.
He commended the cordial relationship existing between the Treasury and the Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities, adding that the Treasury and the Association have been interacting at different levels and on various issues, all geared towards bringing about the best in terms of management of finances of Nigerian universities.
The Chairman of the Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities, Victor Imagbe said the visit was to appreciate the Accountant General of the Federation on the financial management reforms and the impact of the reforms on the system.
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have been at daggers drawn with the Federal Government for over two years over the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Indormarion System (IPPIS) in all ministries, departments and agencies.
Under the IPPIS, all workers in the Federal Civil Service are expected to enroll in the system to enable their salaries and other remunerations to be paid electronically.
The system is part of the reforms designed to check the rising incidence of ghost workers on government payroll.
Since the introduction of the policy, government has encountered serious resistance by ASUU, which has embarked on series of nationwide industrial actions aimed at forcing the government to abandon the policy.
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