President Muhammadu Buhari has been forced to relocate negotiations with tertiary institution labour unions to Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, saying that a negotiation meeting has been scheduled to hold today, May 12, 2022 at around 4:00pm.
According to Chris Ngige, the meeting will be chaired by Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Agboola Gambari and all university based unions: Universities (ASUU); Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU); Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU); and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) are expected to attend.
The move of the presidency is coming after students have took to the streets to protest the extension of the ongoing ASUU industrial strike by 12 weeks accusing the government of playing politics with the lives of Nigerian students.
The students had earlier threatened to stall primary elections processes slated to hold by end of May, if the issue isn’t resolve swiftly.
However, reports said the president might have decided to take the step to have a more detailed and fact-based report coordinated by one of his most trusted personal staff.
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The university lecturers have been on strike since February 14, 2022 to press home their demands which highlights include improvement of welfare for its members, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among others.
On May 10, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU presented a new payment system to the Federal Government to replace the current system used to pay their salaries.
The platform which is known as the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) is similar to University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) produced by ASUU to serve as an alternative to the FG’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
Recall, the Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had implemented IPPIS to pay the salaries of Federal civil servants.
The implementation of the system generated a lot of crisis between several civil servants unions and the government.
One of the most popular crisis the implementation of IPPIS created is the fight between the government and the university unions Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
According to the unions, the IPPIS is not capable of capturing the peculiarities in the salaries and allowances of staff in the academic sector, adding that the system was full of inconsistencies and should be replaced by the Federal Government.
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Amidst this development, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has indicated readiness to embark on indefinite industrial action from Monday, May 16, 2022 if the Federal Government does not attend to its demands.
Rising from its emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, on May 11, 2022, National President of ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe, explained that the planned action came after it issued a one-month notice on April 4 2022, which expired on May 4, 2022.
He said up till yesterday, when it convened the NEC meeting, government had not yet responded to its strike notice.
His statement reads partly: “NEC resolved that our members should withdraw their services in a two-week industrial action, with effect from Monday, May 16, 2022.
“We are deploying this medium to equally appeal to members of the public to prevail on government to do the needful within the two-week period to avoid an indefinite shut down of the sector,” he said.
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