An official of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said there is no basis for the union to suspend its ongoing roll-over strike. He accused the Nigerian government of delay tactics.
The coordinator of the Lagos zone of the union, Adelaja Odukoya, who spoke in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, also listed the minimum conditions that are to be met by the government before the strike could be suspended.
Mr Odukoya suggested that the response of the union’s national president and leader of its national strike coordinating committee, Emmanuel Osodeke, to journalists that he would report the outcome of the Tuesday’s meetings to the members nationwide, could be “dissuasive.”
“There is really nothing on ground to warrant ASUU convening either congresses or national executive committee meeting. The government isn’t serious yet and we have stated very clearly at the beginning that there is no longer any room for memorandum of understanding or action, but the action itself,” he said.
Conditions for resumption
According to Mr Odukoya, two major issues that must be addressed immediately by the government include the lecturers’ conditions of service which he noted are contained in the renegotiated agreement, and the adoption of the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) in replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) that is currently in use.
The ASUU official said it has been demonstrated clearly that IPPIS is “a monumental fraud,”. Its replacement by UTAS that ASUU members developed has been tested and passed the integrity test.
He said; “Two things are critical to calling off the strike; one, Nigerian lecturers keep on getting the same salary they’ve been receiving since 2009. The condition of service which is contained in the renegotiated agreement is non-negotiable, and secondly,the IPPIS must be jettisoned and replaced with what we have put on ground –UTAS– which has been demonstrated to be superior.
“Even the auditor general of the federation has confirmed that IPPIS is a monumental fraud. So those two are non-negotiable, they are the irreducible minimum. So when you have not heard that one, whatever they (the government) say, they are joking. And from the timeline set by the government, the conditions of service will take another six weeks to address.”
Mr Odukoya said professors receive N416,000 as monthly salary, adding that the ‘ridiculous’ amount is what some employees earn at entry level