ASUU Strike: We can’t return to classes on empty stomachs ─Coordinator

*The academic Union considers the Federal Government’s IPPIS unsuitable for the Nigerian University system ─Aniekan Brown, ASUU South-South Coordinator

*Everything that the government needs to do is done; if you want your salaries, get on the platform and collect your salaries, says Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

While contending that the University lecturers have not been paid salaries for several months this year, Aniekan Brown, Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the South-South region of Nigeria, has said that members of the academic union cannot return to classrooms on empty stomachs.

ConsumerConnect reports Brown maintained that in the interim, their members have not been paid salaries for periods ranging from four to nine months, and as such, they will not return to classes until they are paid by their employers.

The ASUU Coordinator, who is in charge of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Ebonyi states, stated this Tuesday, November 3, at a media briefing in Calabar, Cross River State capital.

Federal Government should adopt the Union’s invented payment system for Universities with the name ‘University Transparency and Accountability Solution’ (UTAS) as the option against the Federal Government’s controversial  Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), said he.

Brown insisted that the Union considers the IPPIS unsuitable for the university system.

According to him, visitors to state universities should stand up to their responsibilities and state government should not establish universities they cannot fund.

ASUU, therefore, solicited the cooperation and understanding of the general public on the Union’s stance on the aforestated outstanding issues and the IPPIS as its members would not return to the classes on empty stomachs.

However, the Nigerian Government has declared that it is no longer responsible for the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities in the country.

Emeka Nwajiuba, Honourable Minister of State for Education, said there is nothing stopping the lecturers from returning to classrooms.

The Minister, who stated this while on a Channels TV programme monitored in Lagos, noted that the Federal Government has done what it needs to do.

The lingering strike should be blamed on the lecturers, said Nwajiuba.

He said: “The lecturers can be back in the classroom tomorrow if they say they want to go back. There is nothing withholding the lecturers from entering the classrooms tomorrow.

“Everything that the government needs to do is done. If you want your salaries, get on the platform and collect your salaries.”

Report indicates the protracted ASUU strike is due to the Union’s refusal to enroll on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

But ASUU severally, has insisted that its members will not enroll on the IPPIS system.

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