Written by Rahaman Abiola
– ASUU said it would end its strike after consensus has been reached on UTAS
– The body disclosed that UTAS, which is its home-grown payment system, is undergoing integrity test at NITDA
– ASUU was expected to direct all its members to resume back to classrooms on Wednesday, October 21, after striking a unilateral agreement with the FG
The Academic Staff Union of Universities said it would end the strike action after its home-grown University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) passes the federal government’s integrity test.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, the association’s national leader and president, Professor Bidoun Okeowo, gave the assurance with questions popping up on when the lecturers will resume back to classrooms.
Legit.ng recalls that the federal government and the leadership of ASUU struck a unilateral decision after months of disparity and meetings mostly characterised by deadlock.
We’ll call-off strike after UTAS’ integrity test is completed, ASUU says
ASUU said it would end its strike after a total consensus has been reached on UTAS. Credit: Vanguard.
The federal government on Thursday, October 15, resolved to pay university lecturers the sum of N30 billion earned academic allowances.
According to the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, the money would be paid in instalments from May 2021 to January 2022, with the federal government also saying it would release N20 billion meant for the revitalisation of the education sector.
ASUU was expected to call off its strike and mandate lecturers to resume back to lecture rooms on Wednesday, October 21, after the agreement.
But Professor Okeowo said UTAS, which is a payment system developed by ASUU in place of the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), is still going through an integrity test handled by NITDA.
“In principal, they have accepted UTAS and told us to go for the test, and on our part, we have started the process. We had presented UTAS at three levels. . . If the government facilitates it, it is not something that should drag for too long at all.
This is when ASUU will call-off strike – Good news emerges as body, FG finally agree
“We don’t foresee any problem with UTAS; it also depends on how early the government makes it possible for the integrity test to be conducted.”
Meanwhile, ASUU has raised an alarm over what the body termed as a deliberate attempt to strangulate public education in Nigeria.
Speaking during a Town and Gown meeting at the African Hall in the University of Ilorin, Kwara state, ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said the lecturers’ body is being neglected by the federal government because “there were plans to make education inaccessible to the poor.”