ASUU reveals why 7 months old strike still lingers

ASUU

The academic staff union of the universities, ASUU has given fresh reasons why more than seven months old strike Lingers.

In a statement signed by its President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU says, Government is punishing university teachers because of their rejection of the IPPIS, imposed on the universities by the government, against the provisions of the law on autonomy and universal practices.

ASUU said that the claim by government that the platform used in paying lecturers’ salaries before the imposition of IPPIS has been dismantled is not true. 

The statement said some ASUU members who have not enrolled in IPPIS, were paid part of their withheld salaries last week. But, in furtherance of the attack on ASUU, the Accountant-General of the Federation, has unilaterally seized all the deducted union check-off dues in the last nine months illegally.  

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ASUU said that it is at the final stage of the integrity test of the Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS with the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.

It said in parts that”…UTAS was developed locally by ASUU members, unlike IPPIS which was engineered by the World Bank.

And with the full cooperation of the concerned agencies, the final test with NITDA could be completed in a matter of days and UTAS adopted in place of IPPIS in the universities…” end of quote.

ASUU said In closing the meeting between the leadership of the lecturers union and the Federal Government team last Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, promised to send to the Union, government’s written position on ASUU’s response to their initial offer. 

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ASUU said the minister also added that all concerned Ministries, Departments and Agencies, would be consulted on Friday, November 6, for their inputs into government’s new position but as at the time of this press release, it was yet to received any position from government.

The statement reads further that “…ASUU has shifted positions on some issues. For instance, our members have reduced their demand of one tranche of N220 billion of the outstanding revitalization fund by 50%. The Union has also agreed that N30 billion out of the so far verified arrears of N40 billion of the earned academic allowances, be paid to our members, while the balance of N10b could be spread over the next two tranches. 

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We were equally making steady progress on other issues. And what has stalled meaningful dialogue, was government’s insistence that payment of the withheld salaries and other entitlements of our Members, would only be effected through the IPPIS…” end of quote.

The statement argues that it is government that is prolonging the issues at stake, not ASUU, adding that government should release all what is due ASUU members and the union, without the conditionality of IPPIS, which would enable them to conclude on the outstanding five demands which are revitalisation, Earned Academic Allowance, renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, inauguration of Visitation Panels, proliferation of state universities and governance issues in them.

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