The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, met yet again with the Federal Government over the poor funding of Universities and the controversy surrounding the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, payment platform, on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, but the meeting ended without any resolution.
This is as the Federal Government at the meeting which held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja, said it cannot afford the N110 billion demanded by ASUU for funding of revitalisation of universities.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, while addressing journalists at the end of the meeting said that the government cannot meet the demand of ASUU of revitalisation because of the damaging effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
Senator Ngige disclosed that the Federal Government has offered the union N20 billion for revitalisation and N30 billion for Earned Academic Allowances, making it N50 billion altogether.
The minister said the government made all these offers to show its commitment towards the resolution of the prolonged strike of the union.
His words, “Again, another cardinal issue is the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) versus IPPIS. Today, ASUU submitted their document on UTAS for onward submission to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
“As you know last week, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy had approved that NITDA gets their system (UTAS) and subject it to integrity test. This test should be conducted without fear or favour and as early as possible. So today they have submitted the document for onward transmission to NITDA.”
Ngige said the transition period and how to disburse the Earned Academic Allowances and other entitlements remained unresolved as ASUU wanted an exemption from IPPIS whereas the government side headed by the Accountant General of the Federation insisted on IPPIS, being the only government-approved payment platform.
He said, “So that is where we are for now. So we are all going back to our principals and they will receive via me the irreducible minimum of what the federal government has to offer”.