Universities Academic Staff Union, ASUU, returned to its old “ways” of indefinite strikes on Monday, March 23, 2020.
This came after his 2-week of “warning strike” which began on March 9, 2020. According to Union President Biodun Ogunyemi last Monday, the strike became necessary because “the Nigerian government has chosen to use famine as a weapon of war in its against its academics and we’re not going to sit and watch ”.
Although the Union includes non-implementation of agreements reached with the Federal Government dating back to 2009 and its aim was to foster better conditions of service for its members and to upgrade Nigerian universities, the main sticking point this time is the last step. the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS.
The Federal Government enrolled everyone under its payroll in this scheme in order to fight ghost workers and arrest corruption at source. ASUU had stubbornly refused to embrace this because, according to him, IPPIS is “enforced” by the World Bank. ASUU also argues that IPPIS would erode university autonomy. It developed a separate accountability platform for the universities called the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS.
The Federal Government had reached a provisional agreement to integrate the UTAS into the IPPIS, ASUU still said no. The Federal Government in January 2020 stopped paying the salaries of ASUU members who were not enrolled on IPPIS.
The series of strikes initiated by the Union in the last 20 years have cut off four academic sessions, according to facts available at the Federal Ministry of Education. It has ruined the academic progress of millions of Nigerian students.
As top politicians, government officials and the rich in our society send their children abroad and private universities to escape this unrest, it means that ASUU’s frequent strikes mainly affect the children of the mass.
The face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government may likely to be resolved as soon as the country-wide lockdown caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 ends.#ASUUStrike pic.twitter.com/HKKlZWnxez
— Trendz (@Trendz_Tweet) April 7, 2020
ASUU’s overplayed tendency to go on strike was one of the reasons why some of its members broke down last year to form the University’s Congress of Academics, CONUA, whose members readily welcomed the Federal Government’s IPPIS scheme. We see the main reason for this indefinite strike (IPPIS issue) as unwanted and excessive muscle flexion by ASUU.
We do not see how IPPIS or the respect for university autonomy cannot be combined. The Union must rethink and allow the IPPIS and UTAS to coexist because the universities cannot be left out of the war against corruption.
Reducing source pollution will help rectify some of the negligence that routinely pushes ASUU into strikes. Besides, this Coronavirus pandemic atmosphere is hardly an ideal one for a strike. The Government must also work harder to implement the remaining MOU by allocating more budgetary funding to education. It is for the benefit of our educational system.
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REF : vanguardngr