The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday declared an indefinite strike over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System and the non-implementation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.

ASUU had on Monday, March 9, 2020, declared a two-week warning strike following the resolution taken at its National Executive Council meeting which held at the Enugu State University (ESUT), Enugu.

The union leaders accused the Federal Government of failing to implement the contents of the memorandum of action (MoA) signed last year by both sides.

ASUU’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, announced the strike at a press briefing in its National Secretariat, Abuja amidst closure of public tertiary institutions in the country for a month by the government over spread of COVID-19.

The ASUU president said the union took the decision after an emergency NEC meeting last Saturday in Abuja where it reviewed the new proposals made by the government team.

Prof. Ogunyemi noted that the federal government, after two consultative meetings with its team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen, Chris Ngige, had failed to address the issues raised by the union.

He said: “Following the declaration of the two-week warning strike at the Enugu State University, ASUU and government have held consultative meetings on 12th March, 2020 and 17th March, 2020, respectively. ASUU made it clear at those meetings that our union was always in pains going on short, or long term strike.

“However, we equally made it clear that no responsible union will sit idly watching its members’ welfare and survival being trampled upon. In view of these developments, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU was held in Abuja last Saturday, 21 March, 2020 to review the warning strike and take decisions on government’s proposal for resolving the crisis.

“Based on the review of the reports from ASUU leadership’s engagements with the government, NEC concluded that the government had failed to satisfactorily address the outstanding issues raised in the FGN-ASUU 2019 MoA and ignored the objections of ASUU against IPPIS.

“Consequently, NEC resolved to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action beginning from Monday, March 23, 2020 until the issues are satisfactorily resolved.

“ASUU rejects the application of force on our members to join IPPIS irrespective of the patriotic evidence shown by the union to offer a more credible alternative to IPPIS.”

Ogunyemi said even though the government has told ASUU that it now accepts the union’s proposal on its payroll model, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), it saw its appeal to join IPPIS as a booby trap.

“Government has told ASUU that it now accepts the union’s proposal on UTAS with the given timelines for full development; one, software development, six months; two, alpha testing, three months; three, beta testing, six months; four, stable release, three months.

“However, the appeal of the government to encourage ASUU members enroll on IPPIS within the intervening period before the full development of UTAS was rejected as a booby trap,” Ogunyemi added.

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