The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has embarked on a two-week warning strike with effect from Monday.
The President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, announced the strike in Enugu.
The strike follows the decision of the federal government to stop the salaries of lecturers who have not enrolled in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU is opposed to the use of IPPIS for lecturers.
The strike action is also to compel federal government to implement the agreements and resolutions of Memorandum of Action discussed in the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoU), all of which have not been implemented, officials of the lecturers’ union said.
Some of the issues pointed out by the union include non- payment of February salaries and non-remittance of third-party deductions from the workers’ salaries.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Ogunyemi described the IPPIS as a fraud that permits the enrollment of ghost workers and constitutes a financial drain on the scarce resources of the Nigerian state.
“The ugly experiences of those who have been coerced to enrol in the IPPIS platform as well as the patriotic testimony of a former Auditor General for the Federation bears eloquent testimony to the monumental flaw of IPPIS.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the resistance to the deployment of IPPIS in the university is a patriotic action. IPPIS run foul of the universities Miscellaneous Provisions Act (as amended).”
The union also said the deficiencies and decay on campuses are compounded by the “unnecessary meddlesomeness in the internal administrative procedures and process of our universities by the government and its agents”.
The union said it has pointed out the deficiencies in IPPIS to the government
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said out of the 137,016 academic and non-academic staff members of the universities, 96,090 have been enrolled in the IPPIS.
She, therefore, urged ASUU to encourage the remaining 40,926 members to comply with the process.
She said a desk has been opened in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for registration of university staff, assuring that “peculiarity of the tertiary institutions will be accommodated”.
In the 19 years since Nigeria returned to civil rule under the Fourth Republic, university teachers in the country have embarked on strike 14 times that saw them stay away from work for about 40 months.
The last strike by the teachers was in November 2018.
ASUU has been locked in a protracted dispute with the Nigerian government over issues connected to poor funding of public universities. Every time the dispute boiled over to strike by the teachers, negotiations between the two parties always produced agreements.
However, the government’s failure to meet the teachers’ expectations within the context of the agreements have been a primary reason ASUU has been on strike almost every year since 1999.
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