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“Be ready for a long-drawn strike in universities”- ASUU to Students

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Despite the Federal Government’s directive that all educational institutions should resume on Monday, October 12th, there are indications that students of public universities in the country will be excluded from the resumption.

This is as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have declared that their lecturers will not resume yet.

ASUU have been on strike since March 23rd to press home their demands for the Federal Government to implement its agreements with lecturers and protest against the IPPIS.

National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the Federal Government was not sincere about negotiations with the union, criticising the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, for violating a directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that lecturers salaries should be paid.

“You can’t expect people to go back to their offices on an empty stomach. You don’t expect my members to suspend this action when their demands have not been met. It is a very clear decision that anybody will make in this circumstance”, Ogunyemi said.

 “AGF has withheld salaries of our members. The salaries withheld range from three months to eight months and I don’t think that is good negotiations. If you think you can use hunger as a weapon of war against Nigerian academics, it means the government is not sincere about building an enviable university system in Nigeria,” ASUU president stated  further.

He hinted that Students “should be ready for a long-drawn strike in universities with the way government was handling negotiations”.

But the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said all lecturers had migrated to the IPPIS, hence they were not been owed, PUNCH reported.

“I think every ASUU member has been paid. They received their last salary in July, which was the period transfers were made last. What they haven’t received are their August and September salaries. Even when they were on strike, we kept paying them. We paid in March, April, May, June and July. They are now on the IPPIS because during the period of the lockdown, there was no other way to pay them. When they gave us their bank verification numbers, we migrated them to the IPPIS and we are now paying them on the IPPIS”, Nwajiuba said.

Meanwhile, Non-Academic Staff Union of University (NASU) said the Federal Government Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System was not transparent, saying many of its members were being cheated, hence they began a 14-day warning strike on Monday along side the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, (SSANU).

General Secretary of NASU, Peter Adeyemi, said “Government started implementing the IPPIS and started shortchanging our members. If we did not agree to key into the platform, they would call us irresponsible. But we have discovered that they are not transparent. The problem started in March. We will only call off the strike when they correct all the anomalies. Some of our members were shortchanged, while some were not paid at all. There are a whole lot of them”

However, Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, said “the strike action is unfortunate, unnecessary and uncalled for”.

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