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ASUU Will Call Off Strike Soon, Says Ngige

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The Federal Government has said, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) would soon call-off it ongoing strike.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the disclosure on Channels Television’s Politics Today, programme on Tuesday, September 29.

According to him, the Ministries of Finance, Education, Labour and Employment and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation will meet with ASUU to resolve the disagreement on the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Recall that, ASUU has embarked on an indefinite industrial actions since March 23, over r alleged shortcomings of IPPIS and failure of the Federal Government to fulfil its 2019 agreement.

The minister noted that, the Federal Government was ready for an integrity test of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution developed as an alternative to IPPIS by the varsity lecturers.

He said, Fedral Government would consider the UTAS if it addresses the shortcomings identified in IPPIS.

In his words: “The issue of ASUU will soon come to an end. Two reasons – ASUU have called the Federal Government, represented by Finance and the Accountant-General Office and their direct employers, the Ministry of Education to come for the test.

“We are ready to do that. After the independence day celebration, the four ministries and agencies involved will gather together with ASUU. We will look at the UTAS. If there are shortcomings with IPPIS as complained which UTAS have corrected. What’s wrong about it? It is software, we will look at it.

“Secondly, ASUU members have been collecting their money since COVID-19 came and I wrote a memo to Mr president that ASUU members are still Nigerians. Even the members, have families that they care for. By upper week, we are going to arrange for this demonstration.”

But, ASUU has faulted the Government’s policy and rejected IPPIS, saying that it violates university autonomy and proposed the UTAS as an alternative.

Natiobal president of the Union Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, had previously explained that, there was nowhere in the world where IPPIS is being implemented that universities are put under the civil service.

He said if Nigeria wanted to have 21st-century universities, with global ranking, it cannot be achieved through IPPIS.

“This is because IPPIS will shut the door against scholars who are to come from outside Nigeria, scholars who are not on the pensionable appointment within the system.

“IPPIS will bring universities under direct civil service control and the system does not work that way.

“That kind of system will kill innovation, will kill creativity and it will kill academic freedom and autonomy.”

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