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FG agrees to release N30 billion to striking lecturers

The Federal Government has agreed to release N30 billion earned academic allowance to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

The Government will pay the money in tranches between May 2021 and January 2022.

As part of the concession to end the seven-month strike, the government also pledged to spend N20bn on the revitalisation of the education sector.

These agreements were reached during the meeting between the Federal Government and the academic staff union leadership on Thursday.

At the yesterday’s meeting, the body of lecturers, insisted that the government should pay their outstanding salaries through GIFMIS before full implementation of University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, but the government insisted on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS

ASUU, also yesterday, directed all its members across universities in Nigeria to reject IPPIS officials coming to various campuses on Monday for biometric data capturing of its members.

This was contained in an official letter, signed by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, President of ASUU and sent to all zonal coordinators and all its members on Thursday.

The union vowed not to jeopardize the ongoing critical engagement with federal government.

In the letter, ASUU said it has been informed that IPPIS officials from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, will be going around university campuses from Monday 19th October, 2020.

ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi

“All ASUU members should have nothing to do with them. Fact-Check by ASUU with the figures from the OAGF has proven the claim that our members are trooping to enroll in the IPPIS in Abuja as false,” the letter said.

It further described the enrolled number as inconsequential.

ASUU said, “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 over-zealous 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 jeopardize the ongoing critical engagement with the Federal Government.”

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ASUU vows to protect University autonomy with their blood

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, has vowed that they will protect university autonomy with the last drop of their blood.

Ogunyemi made this clear in a press statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The statement was titled “On President Buhari’s No IPPIS, No Salary” and Ogunyemi explained that the directive was meant for civil servants and not university lecturers.

The ASUU president revealed that on January 9, 2020, they reached an understanding with President Muhammadu Buhari, to develop the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which will be sensitive to the operations of the university system, accommodate perculiarities and respect autonomy.

ASUU National President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi

Ogunyemi also claimed ASUU has spent millions of naira to develop the UTAS, which has been presented to the Federal Ministry of Education.

“We are aware of the antics of bureaucrats, especially in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, aimed at bringing universities under their control. ASUU will not fold its arms and watch the gains we made on the autonomy of Nigerian universities slip by.

“It took us several years of continuous struggle during the military to get here. So, let nobody hide under the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to attack the autonomy of public universities because Nigerian scholars are prepared to resist it to the last drop of their blood,” the statement read in part.