The Academic Staff Union of Universities says its ongoing strike would continue despite the order of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that February and March 2020 withheld salaries of lecturers in federal universities should be paid
The Federal Government had previously withheld the lecturers’ salaries over their refusal to register in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
The union, among other issues, embarked on an indefinite strike, arguing that the implementation of the IPPIS was against the FG-ASUU 2009 agreement.
Reacting to the payment of withheld salaries, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, insisted that the lecturers would not resume work because the strike was not only about IPPIS.
Instead, he told The PUNCH that the payment would pave the way for a meaningful dialogue with the government.
He also queried the Federal Government’s motive of asking Vice-Chancellors to pay lecturers with their Bank Verification Number.
The ASUU president said paying the lecturers was not a favour, adding that “Members worked in February and we were still working in March before this coronavirus pandemic broke. It is expected that a labourer is paid his wages. Even as we are talking, people are supposed to be prepared to get their April salary.”
A top official of ASUU, who is among the negotiation team in the FG-ASUU IPPIS crisis, however, told The PUNCH that top officials of the union would meet after the salaries are paid to determine the next line of action.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had on Tuesday said the President directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation to effect the payment urgently to cushion the deleterious effects of COVID 19 pandemic lockdown on lecturers and members of their family.