Varsity Strike: FG Meets ASUU Tomorrow

IN an effort to end the on-going strike in government universities across the country, the Federal Government will again meet with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) tomorrow.
The Wednesday meeting is in continuation of negotiation between the Federal Government and ASUU to find amicable resolution to the contentious issue of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The Deputy Director (Press), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, told Nigerian Tribune that the  Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige will be hosting a meeting with ASUU, adding that the meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, November 4, at the Minister’s Conference by 3p.m.
The meeting will reconvene on Wednesday, as previous meetings held between the government and ASUU all ended in a deadlock. The meeting will be headed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Ngige.
Specifically, the previous meetings held between the two parties could not resolved the issue of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS),  most especially the issue of platform to use to pay the university lecturers before the issue of IPPIS and the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is finally resolved.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that all other issues in contention have been amicably resolved and agreed on, apart from the issue of IPPIS and on which platform to continue to pay the lecturers before UTAS, developed locally and proposed by ASUU passed all integrity tests.
The issues, such as the funding for revitalization of public universities; earned academic allowances; salary shortfall; state of state universities, reconstitution of the government renegotiating team; visitation panels to federal universities; and the issue of University Pension System have all been resolved.
ASUU was said to have met its timeline regarding the first stage of the initial demonstration of the efficacy of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to the Government.
It has also been agreed by the government that if UTAS passes all the different stages of the integrity test which would involve National  Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Office of the National Security Advisers (NSA) and after ascertaining its efficacy; it would be adopted for the payment of the University staff.
The last meeting, especially could not agree on how payment would be done for ASUU members during the transitional period of UTAS tests, even as the government side continues to appeal to ASUU to enroll on IPPIS platform in view of the presidential directive that all Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) employees should be paid via IPPIS.
The government side also explained to ASUU that its members can thereafter be migrated to UTAS whenever UTAS is certified digitally efficient and effective with accompanying security coverage.
But ASUU maintained that given ASUU’s invention of UTAS, it should be exempted from IPPIS in the transition period.

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