ASUU Accuses FG of Prolonging Strike

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By Francis Sardauna

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the federal government of prolonging the nationwide strike embarked upon by the university lecturers, insisting that there is no going back on its rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The union, which described the federal government’s IPPIS as a liability to the nation’s public university system, said its University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) remained the only alternative to resolve the lingering industrial impasse.

The Sokoto Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Mr. Jamilu Shehu, in a statement issued to journalists on Thursday in Katsina, accused the federal government of frustrating efforts to resolve issues that led to the lingering industrial action embarked upon by the university lecturers.

The Sokoto zonal office of ASUU comprises Usumanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS); Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina (UMYUK); Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero (KSUSTA); Sokoto State University (SSU), and Federal University, Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), Katsina.

Shehu said the unnecessary delay in honoring the 2019 memorandum of understanding (MoU) and the adoption of the proposed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) was a deliberate act by the federal government to prolong the nationwide strike.

He accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, of making mischievous statements about the union’s UTAS and threatening to invoke labour laws on striking members of the union, saying: “The utterances are not only misplaced, they shy away from the reality.”

He said: “For about seven years now, ASUU had made its position clear by consistently rejecting the imposition of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) on its members by the government, taking into cognizance the dangers inherent in it as far as the promotion of qualitative education is concerned in Nigeria.

“With the successful development of UTAS by ASUU, any further directive from the government for ASUU members to register with IPPIS for salary payment is suspicious and the union will continue to reject it, as IPPIS has proven to be a liability to the university system. That is why even other sectors who willingly enrolled are now complaining bitterly.”

The ASUU zonal coordinator explained that IPPIS is not only a liability for the country’s university system, but a total violation of the university autonomy as enshrined in the University (Miscellaneous Provision) Amendment Act of 2003.