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ASUU accuses FG of frustrating efforts to end strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday accused the Federal Government of frustrating efforts to end the university lecturers’ eight-month-old strike.

The two parties had been meeting in the last few days in a bid to find a lasting solution to the crisis in the nation’s varsities.

The federal government had earlier this month agreed to pay the university lecturers’ outstanding allowance of N30billion in two installments.

However, the two parties had failed to reach an agreement on the disbursement of the money.

The federal government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had offered to pay the funds through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform pending the roll-out of ASUU’s preferred University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

But the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, told journalists on Thursday that the federal government has been frustrating efforts to end the crisis.

Ogunyemi, who featured on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, said the government has refused to take the necessary steps on the matter.

He said the delay in adopting the UTAS was one of the major reasons why the strike has not been suspended by the union.

READ ALSO: FG, ASUU meet again on varsity strike

The ASUU chief said: “The strike is still on as a result of the federal government not taking the necessary steps. We gave them two weeks to address our five-point demands.

“We engaged the government but they were not forthcoming. They had a whole year to address those issues. They gave us positions that were not acceptable to our members.

“During our first meeting, we thought they we are almost resolving the issues.

“What compounded the problem is the issue of IPPIS. We have said that it is a distraction. There is no university in the world that IPPIS is being used.

“We have done three presentations of UTAS to the Minister of Education and his team, the leadership of Senate and Office of the Accountant-General. They only agreed that UTAS is accepted in principles.

“We are almost getting UTAS approved but the government is saying that our members should first migrate to IPPIS before returning to UTAS. That makes no economic sense. The government has made it difficult for smooth negotiation. They said our members will be paid when they move to IPPIS.”

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