ASUU set to call off strike after reaching new understanding with FG


Agency report

There are strong indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will call off its over two months strike this week.

Sources confirmed to Nigerian Pilot that the university lecturers have come under pressure to suspend the strike after President Muhammadu Buhari waded into the impasse.

Nigerian Pilot gathered that the Federal Government has intensified efforts towards ensuring that the Consequential Adjustment/ minimum wage arrears are paid to the striking university unions this week in order to persuade them to call off the ongoing strike.

In the same vein, President Buhari has directed the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA to subject the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System, IPPIS and the two other proposed payment solutions proposed by University workers to integrity tests.

The three university based unions, ASUU and the non teaching staff Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, have lamented that they were being shortchanged in their salary payment since the government introduced IPPIS as the official payment platform.

As an alternative, ASUU proposed to the government the University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, while SSANU and NASU on their own, proposed the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System, U3PS.

In a tripartite plus meeting attended by the leadership of the university-based unions including the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and other relevant stakeholders, at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari directed NITDA to subject the three payment solutions to integrity test.

The Tripartite Plus meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, gave NITDA three weeks to carry out the integrity test and report back the results.

A source at the meeting hinted that the Chief of Staff during the closed-door session pleaded with the university unions to go back to their duty posts while discussions will be ongoing to address all their concerns but the workers were adamant insisting that the strike would only be called off when the federal government honours agreement reached.

The source said, “We rebuffed all the pleas by the Chief of Staff for us to call off the strike. There was nothing on the table for us to do so. However, we heard that the Minister of Labour is making an effort to ensure that the minimum wage arrears and the consequential adjustment are paid. We are waiting.

“We know that the Minister is trying his best to conciliate but after memorandum of understanding and memorandum of action are entered into, the government will fail to implement them and will turn back to blame the unions”, the source added.