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ASUU faults Ngige’s comments on FG/ASUU impasse, insists on strike

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• Edo poly wins Canadian govt’s research grant

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Benin Zone, has described the comment by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on the impasse between the Federal Government and the union as half-truth and misleading.

According to ASUU, Ngige had in an interview on national television on September 29 impressed it on Nigerians that the impasse was all about the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS).

In a statement issued in Benin City yesterday, the Benin Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh, alleged that the minister had, during the said television interview, claimed that government had at his insistence been paying salaries of the unionists up to date despite the IPPIS crisis, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-induced lockdown and the strike.

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The don urged the public to disregard the comments, describing them as essential part of the minister’s grandstanding and deliberate ploy to misinform and deceive the public on the critical issues that informed the current strike by the union.

He said: “It is far from the truth to say that our members have been paid up to date. Consequent upon government’s insistence on implementation of IPPIS and its accompanying complications, our members are being owed three months’ salaries, while in some universities our members have not received salaries for six months.”Esumeh stressed that until government addressed the issue at stake in a comprehensive fashion, ASUU would continue with the strike.

MEANWHILE, Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, has won the 2020 Carleton University and Canadian government’s grant for the Gendered Design in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) programme.

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The polytechnic won the grant valued in millions of naira to construct an eco-friendly generator for low-income female artisans in Nigeria, with Mrs. Ese Esther Oriarewo and Dr. Obokhai Kess Asikhia as primary and co-primary investigators in the project.

The Gendered Design in STEAM programme at Carleton University, funded by Canadian government’s International Development Research Council (IDRC), was awarded to 20 research teams in Africa, Asia and Latin America, with 19 other teams domiciled in universities.

Rector of Edo Poly, Prof. Abiodun Falodun, said the institution would continue to prioritise Research and Development (R&D) as one of its core mandates,.

He noted that the inclination to research was in furtherance of the target set by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration for state-owned institutions to pursue innovative, technology-driven methods to solve society’s problems.

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