The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it was expecting the decision of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd.), on the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System and other issues discussed with him last Thursday.
Besides IPPIS, the union said it discussed the 2019 FG -ASUU Memorandum of Action and the implication of its non – implementation, as well as its proposal for sustainable funding of education in the country with the President.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi , who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the union remained committed to its tradition of consultation and dialogue.
The union had been embroiled in a row with the Federal Government over directives that ASUU members should enroll in the payroll system as mandated by Buhari during his budget presentation at the National Assembly last year.
ASUU instead came up with its own model, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which it wants the Federal Government to adopt.
Ogunyemi, in his statement, said at no point during the meeting did Buhari put a closure to the ongoing discussion on ASUU ’s preference for UTAS or directed that the salaries of ASUU members should be stopped for failure to enroll in the IPPIS.
The ASUU president said the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed Zainab, spoke spiritedly in defense of the IPPIS, including “leveling some unfounded allegations against ASUU in order to portray the union in bad light before Mr. President.”
He added, “ Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, alluded to the possibility of ‘ marrying ’ ASUU ’s UTAS with IPPIS.
“ President Buhari agreed with ASUU that education, particularly university education, holds the key to the future of the country. The union, on its part, noted with interest Mr. President’ s comment that the ‘ Minister of Education has a lot of work to do ’ after which he handed over the position paper of ASUU on the issues raised to the minister for follow-up. ”
The union faulted the finance minister for allegedly creating the wrong impression that a substantial number of ASUU members had enrolled in the IPPIS in defiance to the union.
The statement read partly, “ To put the record straight, and contrary to what was reported in the official media, at no point during the meeting did President Buhari put a closure to the ongoing discussion on ASUU’ s preference for the University Transparency and Accountability Solution or directed that the salaries of ASUU members be stopped for failure to enroll in IPPIS.
“ Any report to the contrary is calculated to mislead not only the public but to weaken the resolve of the academic staff, a large majority of who are standing by the position of our union.