ASUU Strike: FG, Union To Reconvene After Oct 1 – Labour Minister

In a bid to resolve all the lingering issues between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), a meeting of both parties has been scheduled to take place after the Independence Day Celebration on Oct 1.

Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige disclosed this on Tuesday, on Channels Television program, ‘Politics Today’.

Recall that ASUU had embarked on a strike action on March 23, on the grounds that the federal government failed to meet agreements reached with the union.

Among other contentious issues ASUU has with the federal government, is the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) payment platform.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi had maintained that the IPPIS was a tool to shortchange lecturers.

Consequently, the union had recommended its own payment model known as University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

But, the federal government had said that the IPPIS was in consonance with global best practices.

On Tuesday, Ngige said that the relevant stakeholders would meet with ASUU so as to observe the authenticity of its proposed payment platform.

“The issue of ASUU will soon come to an end.

“Two reasons: ASUU say they have developed their UNITAS and have called the federal government represented by Finance and Accountant General Office and their direct employers Ministry of Education to come for testing.

“They’ve also called me as an arbiter to come and stay and watch the testing. That we are ready to do, we are trying to… after the Independence celebration, the four ministries and agency involve will gather together with ASUU.

“So we will look at the UNITAS, if there are shortcomings with IPPIS as complained, which UNITAS have corrected, what’s wrong about it; it’s a software system,” he said.

Furthermore, the Minister claimed that the federal government has been trying its best in its approach to ASUU.

“Secondly, ASUU members have been collecting their money since the covid-19 came and I wrote a memo to Mr. President that ASUU members are still Nigerians.

“So by upper week we are going to arrange for this demonstration,” he said.

In another development, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba had during the Covid-19 Presidential Taskforce press briefing, stressed that resumption of Tertiary institutions would not be uniform but staggered based on each school’s readiness as well as the approval of state governments.

THE WHISTLER earlier reported that the National Universities Commission(NUC) had on September 22, directed vice-chancellors to fast-track safe reopening arrangements in line with the Covid-19 public health advisory.

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