FG bows to lecturers’ demands over ASUU strike, suspends IPPIS
The Federal Government has agreed to pay a cumulative sum of N65 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to offset backlog of earned allowances and revitalisation of the institutions.
The government also agreed to pay the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, GIFMIS, different from the controversial IPPIS.
According to a statement from the government, the decision was taken in a bid to fast-track return of academic activities to universities.
The government added that it decided to shift grounds on the lingering issues that have kept students out of the classroom for several months.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting held on Friday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who made the proposal on behalf of the government to the striking lecturers, described the negotiation as fruitful.
While noting that the fund was offered to resolve the impasse with ASUU, Ngige explained that the sum of N15 billion from the amount offered by the government would be for more funds to revitalise the universities.
He added that the fund was in addition to the N20 billion paid earlier, making it a total of N35 billion committed as revitalisation fund by the government and disclosed that the visitation panel to the universities would be inaugurated next week.
On the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Ngige noted that representatives of the government and ASUU met over the University Transparency Account System (UTAS) proposed by the union, but it was a work in progress.
He stated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as the Ministry of Education, would use the previous payment platform of the government before it introduced IPPIS to pay the withheld salaries of the lecturers under strict monitoring.
ASUU president, Biodun Ogunyemi, who also addressed reporters, acknowledged that the government has made some new offers to the union and some progress have been made.
He, however, said the union leaders would report to their organs and get back to the government on the position of their members.