The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has stated that nothing progressive has emerged to see an end to the warning strike embarked upon by the body.
The ASUU’s strike which is in its fourth week has been hinged on the union’s demands on the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system.
Prof. Osodeke, who was a guest on Channels Television’s show, Sunrise Daily, expressed his disappointment at the state of affairs and the government’s inability to fulfill the promises it made two years ago.
“I can assure you nothing tangible has happened, nothing visible; nothing you can say has been done,” the ASUU president said during the breakfast show.
“We have met with the Minister of Labour twice and all they are saying is the same old promises that they have been talking about.”
The ASUU president bemoaned what he called the government’s “lack of interest and will” in the public university system as their demands can be settled in a meeting between both parties.
“We met with the President on 1 of February and raised this issue with the President and the President promised to address it and he appointed a three or four-man committee to look at it; the Chief of Staff, Minister of Labour and Minister of Education and the Minister of Finance, it was all over the country and till today that committee has not called us for a meeting,” he explained.
A Lie To The Country?
According to Prof. Osodeke, the ongoing discord over the choice of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, proposed by the government and the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) platform developed by the university lecturers was due to the lack of transparency.
“When you have dishonesty in the system, you have those problems; we listened to the report by National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), that it didn’t pass the test but I came with documentation to show their report”
“If a program is subjected to a test and it scores 77% would you say it failed? If a program is passed through an end-user test and it scores 88%, would you say it failed?
“Let NITDA and the Federal Government tell the Nigerian people whether they have tested IPPIS,” he said
He accused NITDA of giving misleading reports to Federal Executive Council on the UTAS platform as they were never present at any of the agreed meetings.
“The DG of NITDA will never attend any meeting, the Minister of Communication will never attend any meeting but these people who were not there and not properly briefed will they have gone to brief FEC that it did not pass which is not correct.”
“If you subject this to a test today, we will have 99%, but they went ahead to tell the country a lie and this is why they are creating problems in this country,” the ASUU president added.
He was also critical of the government’s nudge towards a platform that hasn’t been tested in the country as one that had been developed locally.
“So, you brought a foreign process to a country developed by a company outside the country and they brought it to your country to pay your salary and you didn’t test it.”
“But the one developed by your academics, intellectuals scored almost 80-90% and you say there was no integrity,” Osodeke noted.