FG Responsible for Crises in Nigerian Varsities, Says ASUU

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By Onuminya Innocent

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Sokoto zone, has accused the federal government of being responsible for the ongoing crises in Nigeria universities.

The Zonal Coordinator, Dr Abubakar Sabo, who stated this Thursday during a press briefing at the Usman DanFodio University, Sokoto, added that the federal government is using the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to distract Nigerians’ attention from its ingenuity in tackling problems facing universities in the country.

“The issues at stake is not only IPPIS, we have the issue of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), the proliferation and non-funding of state universities. IPPIS was brought by the government to deliberately create confusion so that Nigerians will put the blame on ASUU while they absolve themselves,” he added.

Sabo, who is also the ASUU Chairman of Usman DanFodio University, Sokoto, said government’s deliberate attempt to continue keeping students at home will not augur well for the development of the country especially now that the country is facing serious security challenges.

He further stated that the government is forcefully migrating members of the union to enroll in the controversial IPPIS, adding that this violates the laws of the federation, university statutes and agreement between the federal government and ASUU.

According to him, there is no university system in the world where IPPIS is tied to the civil service system.

“If the government is sincere, why should they exempt the Army, NNPC and National Assembly from IPPIS?” He asked.

He said that IPPIS is a business venture to some interests groups, adding that its profit margin increases by with the number of university staff it is able to capture.

He disclosed that the union earlier advised the government that its withheld salaries could be paid through GIFMIS platform, which is still being used or through the method it used in paying its February to June 2020 salaries.

He berated the federal government for rejecting UTAS developed by ASUU.

He also said ASUU remains resolute and would not succumb to pressure or blackmail by the government.

He called on Nigerians to appeal to the federal government to honour the agreement reached with ASUU in 2009, adding that some of them are being owed between six and eight months’ salaries.