FG addresses ASUU’s threat to resume strike

The Federal Government has addressed the threat by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resume its strike action.

Politics Nigeria had reported that ASUU threatened to resume its strike action over the failure of the Nigerian Government to honour agreements they reached with the union.

Recall ASUU embarked on strike action last year March over the Federal Government’s insistence that all its employees must register for the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

Although the government argued that the IPPIS was meant to eliminate fraud, the union stated that it should not be applicable to universities on the grounds that it violated their autonomy.

In the alternative, ASUU developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which it said would meet the peculiarities of universities.

However, due to the disagreement on the payment system that should be deployed, the ASUU strike went on for several months until December 2020, when it suspended the action after getting commitments from the federal government.

Explaining why the Federal Government could not adopt UTAS, Spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Ben Gong said the platform doesn’t didn’t make provision for tax deduction from salaries.

According to him, ASUU members cannot collect salaries without paying taxes.

Gong, therefore, challenged the union to be more specific in its allegations that the government had violated agreements.

Gong stated, “Let them (ASUU) be specific on their accusations. Let them state the parts of the agreements which have not been met. Let them also mention the ministries responsible for not meeting the agreements.”

“For example, if we say we want to pay them this amount of money, is it not the ministry of finance who will do the payment?” he queried.

Gong added, “For the UTAS platform, there is no provision on that platform for tax deduction. How do you pay someone’s salary without tax deductions? Let them list their issues.

“When we saw the publications (by ASUU). We wrote to the permanent secretary to notify him of the allegations by ASUU and we pleaded with him to tell the Chairman (Executive Secretary) of the National Universities Commission to launch an inquiry.”

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