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Stop IPPIS to end strike, ASUU tells FG

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to stop the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as a condition for it to call off its ongoing strike.

ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, in a statement, yesterday, titled: “Why the strike still lingers’, said that the ongoing strike might still linger if the government failed to meet its demand.

Ogunyemi said that what had stalled the meaningful dialogue was government’s insistence that payment of the withheld salaries and other entitlements of its members would only be effected through the IPPIS, adding that the government was punishing university teachers because they rejected IPPIS against the provisions of the law on autonomy and universal practices.

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He, however, said that ASUU was at the final stage of the integrity test of the Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

He said: “Nigerians should bear with us. ASUU is doing their battle. Our union is struggling to ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost paid in private universities or do not have opportunities to study outside Nigeria, get quality education, which is not priced beyond their reach. This will only happen when government adequately funds public universities and addresses the rot and decay in them.

“For instance, our members have reduced their demand of one tranche (N220 billion) of the outstanding revitalisation fund by 50 per cent. The union has also agreed that N30 billion out of the so far verified arrears of N40 billion of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) be paid to our members while the balance of N10 billion could be spread over the next two tranches.”

“We were equally making steady progress on other issues. What has stalled meaningful dialogue was government’s insistence that payment of the withheld salaries and other entitlements of our members would only be effected through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

“Government is punishing university teachers because they rejected IPPIS, which was imposed on the universities against the provisions of the law on autonomy and universal practices.

“So, government should release all what is due ASUU members and the union without the conditionality of IPPIS. That would enable us conclude on the outstanding five demands (revitalisation, EAA, renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, inauguration of the visitation panels, proliferation of state universities and governance issues in them) of the union to pave way for the quick resolution of the lingering crisis. It is government that is prolonging the matter, not ASUU.”

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