By Abiodun JAMIU
THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto chapter, says its members will continue with the ongoing strike in Nigerian universities until all pending issues with the Federal Government are resolved
The union made this known at the end of a consultative meeting held Monday to deliberate on the proposals by the Federal Government in order to present its stand on the months-long industrial action.
In a statement signed by Abubakar Sabo, the Chairman of ASUU-UDUS, the chapter said it accepted the N20 billion offered by the Federal Government as part payment of the revitalization fund which is expected to be paid latest by January 2021.
It, however, rejected “the N30 billion offered by the Federal Government and demanded the increase of the fund to N40 billion.
The Branch also resolved that the payment should be made before the strike is suspended while also agreeing with the guideline given by the Federal Government on the visitation panel to Nigerian universities.
It accepted the proposal of the Federal Government and demanded that all issues contained in the 2009 Agreement be resolved based on the December 2020 deadline.
On IPPIS, the chapter rejected the payment system while stating that the ASUU’s proposed payment system that is currently undergoing an integrity test should be the only acceptable payment platform for its members.
“The Branch rejected IPPIS and preferred only UTAS as the only acceptable payment platform for its members. The Branch also advised that FG should pay our salaries using GIFMIS before UTAS is finally deployed,” it said.
“The previous platform used in paying February and March salaries was characterized by a lot of anomalies and inconsistencies.”
“The Branch is not comfortable with the FG saying it will pay our withheld salaries and allowances immediately without any time frame. Hence, the Congress resolved that all withheld salaries and entitlements must be paid before Friday 23rd October 2020 using GIFMIS platform in the interim.”
University lecturers in Nigeria have been on a strike over six months ago to protest against poor funding of federal universities in the country and the Federal Government’s ss insistence on compulsory enrolment of ASUU members on IPPIS for the payment of salaries like it does to all Federal Government workers.
The union argued that the new payment system would undermine the university autonomy.
In January, the Federal Government vowed to stop the salaries of university lecturers who failed to comply with the directive to enroll on IPPIS by December 31, 2019.
Responding to the threat, ASUU issued an ultimatum to the government to reverse the decision or risk a shutdown of the university system through a nationwide strike.
Last week, the Federal Government met with the leadership of the striking lecturers to iron out the outstanding issues.