By Deji Elumoye
The end to the over eight-month old strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may not be in sight as the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) have kicked against the proposed University Transparency Account System (UTAS) presented by ASUU as alternative to Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, made this known yesterday while speaking with reporters at the end of budget defence session his Ministry had with the Senate Committee on Labour.
According to him, it is not proper to be using different payment platforms in the Nigerian Universities adding that the ministry had already forwarded the UTAS to NITDA for assessment.
“We have forwarded their system to NITDA for assessment; they have to come back from strike to know what we can do in the interim. They have to come to hear that there are other systems in the university that they have their own system of payment and they are going to go with UTAS.
“Bodies such as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academics Staff Union of Universities (NASUU), National Association of Technologists in Universities, (NATU), are also proposing separate payments platforms if ASUU succeeded with its own .
“If we ignore them and what they are saying even if ASUU comes back, they will close the lecture halls, they will close the laboratories. We don’t want that to happen. That’s why we are taking measures to carry everybody along.”
Ngige stated that lecturers have no other option than to return to classroom because they have already violated labour laws by the prolonged strike action.
“They will not have any other option than to return to work. The ILO principle on strike has some limitations on prolonged ones”.