September 28, 2022

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) announced an agreement with the government to use the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as the lecturers’ payment platform and to end the strike.

The revelation was made by ASUU president Emmanuel Osodeke during an interview with Channels Television.

According to Osodeke, the federal government has invited ASUU to a meeting on Tuesday to discuss renegotiation to end the ongoing strike action.

He stated that if the federal government agrees to ASUU’s demands at today’s meeting, the strike will be called off.

“We have not had any serious communication though they have invited us for a meeting on one issue, tomorrow (Tuesday), which is the issue of renegotiation,” Osodeke said.

“You know that there are seven issues why we are on strike. They are inviting for discussion on issue of renegotiation, tomorrow, which is renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 due to the government’s failure to implement its demands on lecturers’ salaries and allowances, improved university funding, and the use of UTAS instead of the federal government’s preferred payment platform — Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the ASUU to allow students to return to class after the strike has shut down federal government-owned universities for 183 days.

Osodeke, on the other hand, claimed that the government was not being sincere in its negotiations.

He noted that “issues of IPPIS and UTAS has been put to rest because the test has been done and it has been agreed with the chief of staff, UTAS will be implemented to cover the university.

“Two, if this government is serious, this strike will not last more than two weeks. If you recall we were going to suppose to go on strike in November, we didn’t start it because NIREC came in and intervened. We conceded to them.”

Osodeke said the committee set up by the president, headed by the chief of staff, has done nothing to end the strike.

“The president set up the Munzali committee, we met them , nothing, they didn’t come back,” Osodeke said.

“They set up the Nimi Briggs committee, it’s now more than three months, two months we finished negotiating with them, they didn’t come back. The president directed the Ministry of Education to finish within two weeks, two weeks has passed, they didn’t come back.

He said once the government signs the agreement with ASUU, “we’ll call of the strike.”

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