The Federal Government has berated the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over what it termed “unreasonable” condition as a prerequisite for calling off the strike.
The Ministry of Education spokes man, Ben Goong, describes the demand of ASUU as ‘ridiculous’.
Goong further added that ASUU cannot determine how university lecturers should be paid by their employer which is the federal government.
“I don’t know whether you know how many groups, organizations and associations receiving a salary from the federal account. So, if everybody are doing their own platform, imagine how many payment platforms government will have to deal with.”
ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interactive session with news men, hinted that the union was expected to call off its strike, and ask lecturers to return to lecture rooms on Wednesday, October 21, after reaching an agreement with the representatives of the federal government.
The ASUU boss also explained that University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which is a payment system, developed by ASUU as an alternative to the contentious Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), has passed the federal government’s integrity test, and is currently going through an integrity test handled by NITDA.
Ogunyemi, during a Town and Gown meeting at the African Hall in the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, raised concerned over what he called a ‘deliberate a deliberate attempt to strangulate public education in Nigeria’.
Meanwhile, the federal government, following negotiation with ASUU, said that it might consider adopting UTAS as a way of finding a solution to the lingering crisis.
As a way of reaching truce with ASUU, the federal government has agreed to release N30 billion as part payment of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) to the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
He also stressed that the lecturers’ body is being neglected by the federal government because “there was plans to make education inaccessible to the poor.”
It would be recalled that ASUU and the Federal government had been at loggerheads, after the union rejects the use of force to enroll on IPPIS payment system platform.
The union, on October 23, 2020, decided to embark on an indefinite strike, over the non-payment of salaries of their members who fail to enroll in the federal government’s IPPIS, payment software mandated for all public officials.