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ASUU Strike finally called off




The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Wednesday called off its industrial action.

ASUU Chairman, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi disclosed this during a press briefing on Wednesday, after the union’s ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government.


ASUU had commenced the current strike in March, 2019.

The March strike was hinged on the failure to implement previous agreements between the union and the government in 2009, 2013, 2017, and 2019.


The issues from the agreements include the reversal of the decay in the Nigerian university system, restoration of universities through sustained financial interventions, and ensuring university autonomy and academic freedom.

The union had also demanded that the government reverse the brain drain in the education sector by enhancing remuneration of academic staff, and disengaging them from a unified civil service wage structure.


The most prominent bone of contention between both parties was the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS), an electronic payroll system mandated by the government for payment of salaries of all public workers.

ASUU rejected the system noting that it violates university autonomy and does not capture the peculiarities of its members’ profession.


The union instead pushed for the government to implement its own locally-developed University Transparency Account System (UTAS).

Ogunyemi announced on Wednesday that one of the agreements now reached with the government is expedited action on the test processes to ensure the deployment of UTAS for the payment of salaries in the university system.


“Government has agreed with us that our members will be migrated to UTAS. This software will assist government in its fight against corruption and thus play an important role in maintaining a high standard of accountability in the health sector,” he said.

Ogunyemi also noted that the FGN-ASUU renegotiation exercise must be concluded as specified in the timelines agreed by both parties, and that no member of the union is to be victimised for participating in the strike, or for their role in the process leading to the resolutions.


The union leader said ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC) in its own meeting decided to accept the agreements, and conditionally suspend the strike action.

He said future crises will be avoided if the government faithfully implements the terms of the agreement.


“We’ll play our own part believing government will be faithful in implementation. Should government fail to fulfill its own part of the agreement, ASUU will resume the suspended strike without any notice,” he warned.

Ogunyemi said an implementation monitoring committee will work diligently to ensure government action, and that status of implementation will be reviewed in February 2021.


He said ASUU members are prepared to resume work as soon as the government makes the environment conducive, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are going back to strive for our students to excel. We are returning to classes and appeal to parents to work with us for the revitalization of universities,” the ASUU Chairman said.


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