Nigeria: Govt, ASUU Set to Resume and End Four Months Strike

Strong indications emerged at the weekend that the federal
government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU) will soon resume negotiations to end the four-
month strike by lecturers.

THISDAY’s investigations revealed that both sides are
making moves to restart discussions that were abandoned
following the disagreement over the introduction of the
Integrated Payroll and Personnel and Information System
(IPPIS) in the university system and subsequent stoppage of
salaries of non-compliant ASUU members.
ASUU has also said its alternative payment platform,
University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS),
was ready for verification and validation by agencies of the
federal government.

While the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, told
THISDAY at the weekend that the union had met with the
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to help
facilitate resumption of talks with the federal government on
the lecturers’ grievances, the Minister of Labour and
Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, also confirmed to THISDAY
that he was set to invite the union to resume talks.
Ogunyemi said ASUU was ready to resume negotiations but
an invitation had not been extended to it.
“Yes, we had a discussion with the minister of education
recently and we are hoping that he would provide a platform
for further discussions with the government. So, for now, we
are in touch with the minister of education only that we
have not specified the time for the resumption of
negotiations. We will be resuming talks as soon as they call
us,” he stated.

“Those aspects of the timelines that ought to have been met
should be met. Let the other timelines contained in the 2019
agreement be revalidated.”
For instance, Ogunyemi said the federal government
promised to pay the outstanding balance of the Earned
Academic Allowances up to 2018 starting from November
last year.
He said under the implementation timeline agreed on in
February last year, the government promised to pay the EAA
in four installments beginning with the first batch being in
November 2019 but failed to do so.
“We are approaching another November, one year after and
no kobo has been paid,” he added.
On the dispute over IPPIS, Ogunyemi said that ASUU’s
alternative platform, University Transparency and
Accountability System (UTAS), was ready.
According to him, ASUU will soon submit the platform to
the Ministry of Education and other agencies to test run.
“We are telling the government now that ASUU is ready for
demonstration. We shall soon unveil our platform but part of
the requirements for final adoption is that it must be
surrendered to the Nigeria Information Technology
Development Agency (NITDA) for validation and that will
also take sometimes. So, we are going to make it available
to them for validation. But before that, we will do a
demonstration for the Federal Ministry of Education to show
how the platform operates and its advantages over IPPIS,”
he said.
Before the lockdown to combat COVID-19 pandemic, that
led to the closure of all schools nationwide, ASUU had
declared an indefinite strike to protest the stoppage of their
salaries and the order for the enrolment of its members into
the IPPIS.


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