The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Emeka Nwajiuba, last night declared that nothing stops the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from calling off its strike action.
Speaking on a live TV programme, the minister insisted that there is absolutely nothing stopping the lecturers from returning to the classrooms ‘tomorrow’.
He argued that the federal government has done all that it ought to do for the striking lecturers to return to the classrooms.
He denied the allegation that the government has not paid members of the union for eight months.
Reacting to ASUU’s insistence that its members should be paid on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), against the federal government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Nwajiuba said, “I have not said there is no way the government will not ever have a different application. But I am saying this is what we have now. The government will continually improve its service. If UTAS, as we go ahead, becomes even a better platform for everybody and they offer it free to government, of course, we are a responsive government, we will simply migrate to it.”
He, however, urged the striking lecturers to get on the IPPIS platform to get their salaries and return to the classrooms.
Speaking on the number of months of owed the lecturers, the minister said during the lockdown, “We asked all our Vice-Chancellors across the country to give us the BVN of all of their people who are eligible for salaries which they did. The BVN marries with the IPPIS and they were migrated to the IPPIS and they were all paid. Of course, there may be people who didn’t submit at the time but that is being sorted out in the office of the accountant general.
“But I think it is a lie to say the government has not paid them in eight months. It will be unfair to the government.”
“The lecturers can be back in the classroom tomorrow if they say they want to go back. There is nothing withholding lecturers from going back to the classroom tomorrow – absolutely nothing. Everything the government should do has been done. If you want your salaries, get on the platform and collect your salaries,” he explained.
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