A meeting was held on Thursday, 12th March 2020 in Abuja between the Nigerian government and representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in respect to the two-week warning strike stirred by ASUU and the outcome of the meeting is that the government made a proposal to unify the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University and Transparency Solution (UTAS).
On Monday, 9th March 2020, ASUU instructed its members in all federal universities to embark on a strike due to the failure of the government to pay salary to lecturers who were not registered on the IPPIS platform and for not meeting other agreed demands.
The IPPIS is a platform that was conceived by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) with intent to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the storage of personnel records and administration of monthly payroll for all public universities.
This IPPIS platform was rejected by Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) which led to the establishment of their University and Transparency Solution (UTAS) as a preferable platform for payment of salary compared to IPPIS, based on the fact that IPPIS was seen as a distraction and also does not consider the peculiar operation of universities and was said to accommodate corruption and tolerate ghost workers, unlike UTAS.
A representative of ASUU Dr Aniekan Brown of Sociology and Anthropology Department in University Of Uyo had attested to the fact that the IPPIS platform is open to corruption and also consumes a lot of money for servicing as it is being run by a private company in US and he suggests the money being used for servicing inputted into funding computer sciences and engineering faculties in Nigeria which will in turn yield a good outcome.
The Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Nigige had earlier stated that the strike was a shock and no prior notice was given in lure of the strike. However after the meeting with ASUU on Thursday Chris Ngige said both parties have tabled their problem, deliberate about it and reached an interim agreement and had decided to incorporate both platforms. ASUU would have to get back to its members on the new system and after then we would continue our discussion, so hopefully Monday or Tuesday another meeting should hold and progress made.
The National President of ASUU, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, said the meeting ended with a proposal which intends to collaborate both the government payment platform IPPIS and the UTAS, but however he needs to meet with the National Executive Committee for review before any decision concerning the suspension of industrial action can be made and whatever is been decided by the committee is what will be presented at the table during the next meeting.
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