By Nurudeen Lawal
– The Nigerian government has given a fresh update regarding its current agreement with ASUU
– According to the government, lecturers have not been exempted from the IPPIS platform, contrary to some media reports
– Labour minister Ngige said the government only agreed that lecturers not yet on the platform will be paid while efforts to verify UTAS, ASUU’s preferred payment platform, continue
The federal government has clarified its position regarding the enrolment of university lecturers on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform.
Contrary to some reports, the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not exempted from enrolling on IPPIS, The Nation reported.
Ngige on Saturday, November 21, said the government was quoted out of context on the matter, adding that there was no meeting where it was agreed that ASUU would be exempted from the IPPIS payment platform.
FG says ASUU not exempted from IPPIS, clarifies agreement with lecturers. Photo credit: @fkeyamo
He explained that the government only agreed that ASUU members who were yet to enrol on IPPIS would be paid through the platform with which they received President Muhammadu Buhari’s compassionate COVID-19 payment in February and June.
Ngige said that the platform was a hybrid platform between IPPIS and the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System.
The minister said the arrangement is only meant for the transition period.
He said that IPPIS and GIFMIS would be used in paying the university teachers for the transition period, while the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) proposed by the lecturers continues to undergo all the integrity and cybersecurity test for confirmation to use.
Meanwhile, ASUU has also dismissed reports claiming that it has announced the suspension of its eight-month-old strike.
The president of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, on Saturday, November 21, distanced the union from the said announcement.
Ogunyemi said the union would address a press conference when it intends to call off the strike.
In another report, a human rights activist and writer, Philip Agbese, on Wednesday, November 18, wrote an open letter to President Buhari over the prolonged ASUU strike.
Agbese in his letter urged the president to allow him to volunteer and lead negotiations with the lecturers’ union to ensure the eight-month-long strike comes to an end.
Regretting that students affected by the ASUU strike are losing an entire academic session, the activist in his letter titled, “ASUU and the need for our students to be back to campus” pleaded with the president to change the negotiation method with the union.