The Academic Staff Union of Universities has again blamed the Nigerian Government for the prolonged strike embarked upon by lecturers in the country.
Recall that lecturers in universities had on March 2020 embarked on a nationwide strike to press home their demands, which include revitalisation, Earned Academic Allowances, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, visitation panels, among others.
Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President, reiterated this on Monday, while speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television program, monitored by our correspondent.
Ogunyemi said the delay in bringing the eight-month-old strike was due to government’s refusal to remove Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System as a payment platform for striking university lecturers.
He, however, noted that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution was the best way to go for the lecturers before the strike would be called off.
“What we need is a commitment; there is nothing like transition and what we are saying, in essence, is that government should just go ahead and pay what government has withheld – the salaries of our members; people have not been paid for eight or nine months on account of not registering on IPPIS.
“Government should stop this arm-twisting and manipulation, going back to universities to ask them to go and enroll in IPPIS so that they will go and migrate to UTAS; people see it as a game of deception and we cannot trust them.
“Each time people talk about this problem has been there for long, they don’t also appreciate the solution we have brought to the system to keep the system going,” he said.
He added that the government had insisted that there was a transition period within which ASUU members would first be captured in the IPPIS before migrating to UTAS.
According to him, UTAS had been presented to the Minister of Education and senior management staff, the President and leadership of the Senate, and the Office of the Accountant-General where NITDA and Office of the National Security Adviser and other MDAs were fully represented.
He added that the ongoing strike may still linger if government failed to meet the demands of the lecturers.