Written by Godfrey AKON

ASUU strike enters week two as FG keeps mum

The indefinite strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has entered its second week without the prospects of negotiating with the federal government anytime soon.

ASUU declared an indefinite strike last Monday to protest the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, and the non-implementation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement after a two-week warning strike.

The industrial action comes as the federal government ordered the indefinite closure of all schools across the country to curtail the escalation of Covid-19.

Given the enormity of the challenges faced by the government in fighting off the disease, it is doubtful anyone would attend to the demands of the union as all energy seem focused on addressing the deadly pandemic threatening human existence across the world.

National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, earlier expressed the union’s distrust for the federal government at a press conference where he declared the indefinite strike.

 “ASUU rejects the application of force on our members to join IPPIS, irrespective of the patriotic evidence shown by the union to offer a more credible alternative to IPPIS.

“The government has told ASUU that it now accepts the union’s proposal on UTAS with the given timelines for full development; one, software development, six months; two, alpha testing, three months; three, beta testing, six months; four, stable release, three months.

“However, the appeal of the government to encourage ASUU members enrol on IPPIS within the intervening period before the full development of UTAS was rejected as a booby trap,” Ogunyemi said.

The union has been profusely opposed to the inclusion of lecturers in the IPPIS, arguing that it would hamper the funder of the university system, prompting the federal government to refuse payment of February salaries to lecturers who refused to enrol for the scheme.

Ogunyemi however said the union would not be deterred from protesting against the IPPIS, which it claimed was fraught with issues that would erode on university autonomy, and concentrate corruption at the centre.

 

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