Christian Opata, chairman of the Academic Staff Union Universities (ASUU) at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), says the union didn’t embark on strike over the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Management System (IPPIS) initiative.
According to NAN, Opata spoke on Monday at a briefing to address the ongoing nationwide industrial action by the union.
He said ASUU went on strike because the federal government failed to honour the 2009 agreement and memorandum of understanding (MoU) it entered with the union.
He added that the briefing was to correct the “misinformation” in a national daily, where it was alleged that the union embarked on its industrial action because of IPPIS.
“ASUU didn’t go on strike because of a misunderstnding with government on IPPIS as platform for payment of salary. IPPIS issue started in 2018, before then, ASUU has been calling on government to honour the 2009 agreement and various MoUs it entered with government,” he said.
“In the 2009 agreement and MoUs, government agreed, among other things, to release money to revitalise the decaying infrastructure in public universities and set up visitation panels to know the condition of the universities.”
The UNN chairman of the union also said it was mischievous for anybody to accuse ASUU of insensitivity over the plight of students and parents when the government was guilty of reneging on its 2009 agreement and MoUs.
Opata said the ongoing strike could have been averted, “if government honoured and implemented its 2009 agreement and MoUs with ASUU.”
“The writer is not fair to ASUU, which has been fighting to ensure the revitalisation of public universities to ensure that students compete with their counterparts globally,” he added.
His claim comes despite the fact that ASUU had consistently identified the IPPIS as one of the factors that informed its nearly nine-month strike.
The union had proposed the Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative to the federal government’s IPPIS.
Biodun Ogunyemi, the union’s president, had in November asked the federal government to leave out the IPPIS as a condition to call off its strike.
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