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We’re yet to have any meaningful engagement with Federal Government over strike, says ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that it was yet to have any meaningful engagement with the Federal Government since the union embarked on an indefinite strike.

The university teachers, had on March 23, 2020, embarked on strike in protest against government’s directive for members to join the integrated payroll and personnel Information System (IPPIS), payroll software mandated for all public officials.

The Federal Government had last year directed that all its employees should be enrolled under the IPPIS scheme by December 31 or their salaries would be withheld.

The directive did not go down well with ASUU members and they never failed to make it known to their employers.

Few days to the deadline, some ASUU members were said to have secretly enrolled on the platform, while some others, especially their leaders, refused to join.

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All efforts to persuade them failed; rather they embarked on two weeks warning strike.

The national president of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi in an interview said the Federal Government is yet to respond to the concerns raised by the union. He added that the existing inter-state lockdown across the country is preventing the union from having a meeting with the Federal Government.

He said, “We have not started any meaningful engagement with the Federal Government. The last thing we did was to do a letter to them conveying our rejection of the last offer they gave.

“Government has not written back to us, although they made attempt to call for a meeting, and we said there was no way people can meet in Abuja because of the lockdown. We hope that as soon as the environment permits, we shall meet and sort out issues.”

Ogunyemi said its members have been engaged in various research activities to proffer solution to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“Our strike does not affect participation in COVID-19 prevention and control activities. Right from the time we declared this industrial action, we gave them permission to participate in COVID-19 research, there is no state in Nigeria where we have intervened in terms of donation of materials, production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“As we speak we have many research groups coming up with ideas and proposals. Just last week, a group in Markurdi presented a ventilator that they invented in Federal University of Agriculture, Markurdi. These activities are coming up almost in every state of the federation and we are expecting more,” Ogunyemi added.

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