As the Federal Government makes fresh moves to ensure the enrolment of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in its Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS) the union has asked its members to stay away from anything related to the government platform.
Franktalknow.com learnt that officials from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation would be visiting federal universities from Monday, October 19, for biometric data capture of academics.
But, ASUU in a memo signed by its President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, has warned its members not to have anything to do with the government officials.
ASUU has been on strike since March over unpaid allowances and government’s insistence on enrolling members of the union on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), among other grievances.
In the memo, issued on Thursday to all zonal coordinators and union members, the union said a fact-check on the information that members were trooping to enrol for the IPPIS had been proved to be false as the enrolled number was inconsequential.
He said, “On Monday, 12th October 2020, UTAS was presented to the President and other leaders of the Nigerian Senate. Discussions on the withheld salaries, EAA, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, visitation to federal universities and proliferation of state universities started at the meeting.
“On Tuesday, 13th October 2020, the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, the senate leader, chairman of senate committee on tertiary education, minister of education, minister of labour and employment, Accountant general of the federation, among other government officials met with the ASUU leadership on UTAS and other matters.
“Yesterday, 14th October 2020, the UTAS was also demonstrated to the Accountant General of the Federation, minister of labour and employment, chairman of senate committee on tertiary education, Executive Secretary of NUC and other stakeholders.”
The union on Thursday met with representatives of government and had a decisive engagement on UTAS/IPPIS and trash out the main demands in the ongoing struggle. It said all its members would be adequately briefed of the outcome.
“The First stage of UTAS testing has been completed, what is left is the technical testing which is commencing immediately. All the stakeholders applauded the innovation that UTAS represents,” he explained.
Describing IPPIS as a World Bank creation imposed on Nigeria, ASUU president said UTAS is a creation of Nigerian scholars “to secure our data, ensure autonomy of Nigerian universities and reposition our university system for global competitiveness.”
He added, “The leadership of our great union is fully aware of the hardship the non-payment of salaries by the accountant general and other forms of intimidation by overzealous vice chancellors have unleashed on our membership and we are leaving no stone unturned to redress the situation.
“Therefore all members of ASUU should stay away from anything related to IPPIS so as not to jeopardise the ongoing critical engagement with the Federal Government.”
The Federal Government had on Thursday agreed to release N30bn as a part payment of the Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The money is expected to be paid in tranches between May 2021 and February 2022.
The FG also promised to spend N20bn on the revitalisation of the education sector.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, who spoke after the meeting between government officials and ASUU leadership in Abuja on Thursday, said ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and revert by October 21.