ASUU Insists On UTAS Implementation To End Strike

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it will backdown on the eight-month-old strike action, despite the withdrawal of the contentious Integrated Payroll and Information System, IPPIS, as a means of paying them by the Federal Government.

Coordinator, of ASUU Owerri zone, Uzo Onyibinama, stated this at a press briefing on Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

According to him, the FG has been feeding the public with lies about the strike, adding that the main reason for the strike was the government’s inability to keep previous agreements and not about IPPIS as being propagated by the government.

The ASUU official insisted that the union would not call off the strike until all its demands were met by the Federal Government.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the issues in contention remain revitalisation fund for public universities; arrears of Earned Academic Allowances; visitation to universities; the proliferation of state universities as well as issues of governance in them; and also conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement.

“The later issue of IPPIS was a new introduction; and a diversion as no university in the world runs such a system.

“Instead of apologising to Nigerians and hiding their heads in shame on the serial failures of Governments; particularly the present Government which came on the mantra of ‘change’; the duo of Ministers Chris Ngige and Emeka Nwajiuba has been feeding Nigerians with lies and half-truth.

“Ministers Ngige and Nwajiuba have on many occasions on various media organizations said that agreement have been reached on virtually all the issues that necessitated the seven months old strike.

“They should please tell Nigerians, who are their masters; those agreements that have been reached and implemented. As far as our Union is concerned, no agreement has been reached on any of the demands.

“So, instead of constantly running to the press, Ngige and Nwajiuba should sit down; and painstakingly do the work that they are paid to do. It is on record that the date given by the Minister Ngige to reach our Union with Government improved position has elapsed without any communication.

“The proposed new timelines for implementation of some proposals; such as the appointment of a new team for renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement; gazetting of visitation panels among others have elapsed without any implementation. This shows the insincerity on the part of the Government.

“On IPPIS, our Union has been consistent in rejecting the platform as it compromises the autonomy of the University system; and a threat to national security considering that the software is hosted in Washington, USA; with a sub-platform at Gombe State”

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