The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has accused the federal government of being too lenient in its ongoing negotiations with the union, whose members are currently on strike for four weeks.
As a result, the union stated that the end of the strike is contingent on the government’s willingness to take the issue seriously and act appropriately.
In an interview with Vanguard, ASUU National President Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke stated that the last meeting between the two sides failed to produce any results because the government team pretended to be unaware of the issues at hand.
“Our last meeting resulted in nothing meaningful because the government team pretended to be unaware of the issues at hand.” We’ve been working on this for a while. We expected them to come to the meeting prepared to answer our questions.
“We were surprised that their team arrived with no action plan for resolving the issues.” Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, and we hope that they will change and do the necessary.
What we are requesting has been in the public domain for so long that almost everyone is aware of the issues. “It’s surprising that they haven’t come up with a plan to meet our demands and resolve the issues,” he said.
When asked if the next meeting would be used to resolve the standoff, Osodeke said it would depend on the government’s actions and readiness.
He added that the union’s demands remained the same, including revitalising university education, discontinuing the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the university’s payment system, and payment of promotion and salary arrears, among other things.
According to our correspondent’s findings, the two major areas of disagreement are the IPPIS, which lecturers want replaced with the University Transparency and Accountability System, UTAS, and adequate sector funding.
The government is hesitant to abolish IPPIS because it believes it helps to eliminate the situation in which some lecturers are employed by more than one university.
On the call for more money to be pumped into the sector, the government claims that there is currently a lack of funds, which the union says can be addressed by the government setting its priorities correctly.
If the two sides do not reach an agreement by March 13, this year, the union may go on indefinite strike.
Mazi Akachukwu Udoka Obinwannem News writer / 27/02/2022