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ASUU Puts Hold On Strike As NITDA Approved UTAS As Payment Platform For Lecturers

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday resolved to put on hold its decision on strike. The varsity teachers’ union took stand to give room for further consultations and after receiving reports from its branches.

The Nation reports that the decision was taken after a December 18 meeting to review the level of government’s implementation of the FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) of December 23, last year and other related matters.
Asuu strike

In a statement issued after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Sunday, ASUU welcomed the recommendation of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that the payment platform – University Transparency and Accountability Solution  (UTAS) developed by the university lecturers be deployed in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
ASUU National President Prof Emmanuel Osodeke said areas highlighted by NITDA in its report would be addressed.

Prof. Osodeke referred to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS), engineered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank as evil, stressing that the continuous use of the IPPIS had created distortions in the payment lecturers’ salaries.

He wondered  why it took more than one year to get  the  needed feedback on the home-grown solution – UTAS – at  a  time  Nigeria  is  yearning for  “local  content”.

He said: “NEC  is  pleased  that  the  end-user  evaluation  report overwhelmingly  endorses  UTAS  for  immediate  deployment  by  government  for Nigerian  universities.  On  our  part,  ASUU  is  fully  prepared  to  address  all  the technical  observations  made  by  NITDA  in  order  to  make  this  happen.

“Our  hope is  that  the  National  Universities  Commission  (NUC)  and  other  agencies  of government  would  promptly  respond  to  issues  that  concern  them  in  the NITDA’s  report  to  pave  way  for  speedy  migration  to  UTAS  and  spare  Nigerian universities  of  the evil  effects  of  the  IMF/World  Bank-engineered  IPPIS.”

The varsity teachers regretted that the Federal Government had turned its back on the plan to set up an inter-ministerial committee to review the draft Renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.

The ASUU boss described as worrisome the efforts made government agents to reduce ASUU’s demands to a  regime of intermittent payment of watered-down revitalisation fund and release of distorted and grossly  devalued Earned Academic  Allowances  (EAA).

The union specifically accused the Minister of  State  for  Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, of failing to follow through with the promise made during a  meeting  with  the House  of Representatives  Speaker  on  November 19.
Part of the ASSU statement reads: “NEC was worried by the spirited efforts of government agents to reduce the demands of ASUU to a regime of intermittent payment of watered-down revitalisation fund and release of distorted and grossly devalued Earned Academic Allowances.

“ASUU shall not relent in demanding improvement in the welfare and conditions of service of our members. However, we shall resist any attempt to blackmail the union and derail our patriotic struggle for a productive university system by official propaganda founded on tokenism and crumb-sharing.

“NEC concluded that government has failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and subsequent MoUs and MoAs.

“However, considering the ongoing intervention and consultation efforts, NEC resolved to review the situation at a later date with a view to deciding on the next line of action.

“The  minister  assured  us  that  the process  of  reviewing  the document  would  be  set  in  motion within one week  from that  date.  Nwajiuba’s  failure  to  fulfill  a  promise  made  in  the  hallowed chambers  of  the  National  Assembly  is  not  only  provocative  but  reminiscent  of trust-deficit  that  has  bedevilled  all  agreements  and  understandings  reached  with this  government  and  those before it  since 2009.”

ASUU had announced plans to embark on a strike over the federal government’s failure to meet its demands.

Apart from the EAA, ASUU list its demands to include: the review of the NUC Act to curb the proliferation of universities by state governments who are not funding the existing ones; adoption of UTAS with concurrent discontinuance of the IPPIS and distortion in salary payment.

Others are the release of accumulated promotion arrears; and the review and signing of the draft document on the Renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.


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