The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi has disclosed why it will be impossible for them to call off the ongoing strike.
Ogunyemi lamented that the Federal Government has chosen to make a smooth negotiation impossible.
Disclosing this on Channels Television programme, ‘Politics Today, he noted that due to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) introduced by the Federal Government, some university lecturers will losing up to 70 percent of their salaries while some professors received N8, 000 as monthly salaries for several months.
He further noted that they are waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a home-grown payment platform created by ASUU in place of the government’s IPPIS.
He also accused the Federal Government of reneging on agreements with the union since 2013, including frustrating the plan by ASUU to introduce an alternative payment system for university lecturers.
While calling for the understanding of students and their parents, he said that as far as they were concerned, they did not have any issue with going back to work but wanted more sincerity on the part of the government.
Ogunyemi said: “People are losing about 50 to 70 percent of their salaries. In fact, there were professors that were paid about N8,000 in some months on our campuses.
“So, we don’t expect something otherwise because that platform is not meant for the university system.
“I believe our students and their parents will understand. If we have lecturers that have not been paid for eight, nine months, how can we have that person putting in their best into the system?
“If people are going back to the universities and they will be paid half or less of their usual salaries, how can we cope with that?
“And salary is not the only issue, like I said, there were allowances that were discussed; there was the issue of salary scale.
“If we have been on the same salary structure for 11 years, I think our members have the right to say, No, that cannot happen. Government has made it difficult for smooth negotiation.”
It would be recalled that ASUU embarked on an industrial action about eight months ago across the country, following its dispute with the Federal Government over their insistence on the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of university lecturers’ salaries and allowances.
ASUU, on its part, developed a home-grown payment platform, UTAS, which it believes guarantees the autonomy of the university.