Ngige: Strike fuelling #EndSARS protest
The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with a view to ending the strike by the lecturers, last night, ended in stalemate. The bone of contention, implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), seems to be degenerating, as both parties maintained their positions on the issue. Trouble started when a top member of the ASUU delegation accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, of conspiring with other government officials instead of playing his role as chief reconciliator as he claimed, and for always keeping the unionists waiting for hours.
“You scheduled a meeting for 2p.m., you came 2 hours after, you wasted our time, and you’re still here telling us to take offer we had rejected. What kind of mess is that? “See, you are talking to intellectuals, we will respect the constituted authorities as possible as we can because that is what we teach also in our various institutions, but you must stop taking us for granted and stop treating us like kids,” a source which craved anonymity had quoted the ASUU official to have said.
ASUU, it was gathered, had also rejected the appeal from the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, to receive their salaries through IPPIS platform pending when UTAS would be ready after the series of integrity tests, as they insisted IPPIS was not demonstrated to them before government started using it for workers.
The academics, however, insisted that payment of their outstanding salaries could be made through on GIFMIS before full implementation of UTAS, but FG maintained that it must be on IPPIS. Meanwhile, the union directed all his members to reject IPPIS officials reportedly coming to various campuses on Monday for biometric data capturing of its members.
Earlier, Ngige had said the strike by ASUU was contributing to the heightening #EndSARS protest in the country, saying several undergraduates have joined the action. Ngige who made this known before stepping into a closed door technical meeting with leadership of ASUU, also debunked reports in the media that government had agreed to replace the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), with the University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS).