Ngige Gave False Narrative on Our Strike ASUU Says

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Ngige Gave False Narrative on Our Strike ASUU Says
Nwolu Obiajulu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Lagos state chapter has debunked claims by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige that the union’s strike action was informed by disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and that the salaries of lecturers were being paid in full while on strike.

The union also alleged that it was yet to be informed of a meeting to be held next week where Ngige claimed ASUU would demonstrate its purpose-built University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) software which it plans to replace IPPIS.

This was disclosed in a statement by Prof. Olusiji Sowande, Lagos Zonal Coordinator who said though the union had sought to demonstrate the functionality of UTAS but the ministry was yet to reply to the request.

Sowande said, “The attention of our union has been drawn to the comments of the Minister of Labour and Employment (MoL&E), Dr. Chris Ngige, on a Channels Television programme (Politics Today) aired on September 29, 2020.

“The minister informed the public that a meeting has been scheduled for next for our union to demonstrate the efficacy of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) software developed by our union to the stakeholders at the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Minister of Labour and Employment to watch as arbiter.

“The general public should please note that our union, over a month ago, had written the MoL&E of our readiness to demonstrate the efficacy and superiority of UTAS over IPPIS and that as at the time of this press release no acknowledgement of receipt of our letter or letter of invitation for meeting has been received by our union.”

Sowande noted that the claim on the reason for its strike action was misconstrued adding that non-implementation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement among others form the basis of their industrial action.

He added, “The minister also misinformed the public by narrowing down the issues in contention to our rejection of IPPIS, which UTAS seeks to replace. Other issues in contention, for which our union is currently on total, comprehensive and indefinite strike, include failure of government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and February 2019 Memorandum of Action with timelines for release of funds for the revitalisation of dilapidated infrastructure in public Universities, payment of outstanding Earned Academic Allowances, conclusion of the renegotiation of 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement.”

Reacting to claims on payment of salaries, the union said many lecturers were being owed between three and six months’ salaries.

This post was written by Nwolu Obiajulu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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