The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the Federal Government to meet its demands without the conditionality of the IPPIS system.
This was disclosed in Abuja by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, in a statement on Sunday evening and warned that the strike will continue if ASUU’s demands are not met.
In Sunday’s statement, ASUU said it is struggling to make sure youths return to schools and receive quality education.
“Our Union is struggling to ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost paid in private universities or do not have opportunities to study outside Nigeria, get quality education which is not priced beyond their reach.
“This will only happen when government adequately funds public universities and addresses the rot and decay in them. ASUU has shifted positions in some respects.
“For instance, our members have reduced their demand of one tranche N220bn of the outstanding revitalization fund by 50 per cent.
“The Union has also agreed that N30bn out of the so far verified arrears of N40bn of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) be paid to our members, while the balance of N10bn could be spread over the next two tranches. We were equally making steady progress on other issues,” Prof Ogunyemi said.
He added that the NUC presented the Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to the Federal universities, which is in its final testing days with the NITDA. The system was developed by ASUU members unlike the World Bank funded IPPIS.
“Last Thursday, 5th November, 2020, the National Universities Commission (NUC) facilitated the presentation of UTAS to Vice-Chancellors and Bursars of federal universities. All questions raised at the four levels of presentation of UTAS were satisfactorily answered.
“With the full cooperation of the concerned agencies, the final test with NITDA could be completed as a matter of days and UTAS adopted in place of IPPIS in our universities.
“ASUU disagrees with government on the use of IPPIS during the so-called transition period. In practical terms, there is no transition period if government is sincere,” Prof Ogunyemi said.
ASUU claims the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has illegally seized deducted union due in the past 9 months and urges that the FG release all its dues without conditionality of IPPIS.
“But, in furtherance of the attack on ASUU, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) has illegally seized all the deducted union check-off dues of our members in the last nine months.
“So, government should release all what is due to ASUU members and the union without the conditionality of IPPIS.
“That would enable us conclude on the outstanding five demands including revitalization, EAA, renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, inauguration of the Visitation Panels.
“Others are proliferation of State universities and governance issues in them to pave way for the quick resolution of the lingering crisis.”
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last month that ASUU insisted there is no going back on its rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) of the Federal Government, after it revealed some Lecturers only received N8000 a salary.
“In fact, there were Professors that were paid like N8,000 in some months on our campuses. So, we don’t expect anything otherwise because that platform was not meant for the university system,” Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said.
ASUU also disclosed last month that they are waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a homegrown payment platform created by ASUU in place of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU said it will suspend the strike embarked upon on March 23, 2023, if the Federal Government pays their withheld salaries and completes the negotiations of what led to the strike. The union accused the government of trying to use hunger – a weapon of war, to suppress its members.