Joseph Erunke – Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said on Tuesday it would press ahead with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a substitute to the federal government’s preferred Integrated Payroll and Personnel System (IPPIS).
The union had flayed the media for the misrepresentation of facts in its recent meeting with President Muhammad Buhari, saying contrary to some media reports, the meeting was not called solely to discuss IPPS “which ASUU had rejected, and still rejects, for sound reasons.”
ASUU had in a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting held at its University of Abuja national secretariat, insisted that there was no going back from its earlier position on IPPS.
In the communiqué tagged: “Meeting with President Buhari Beyond IPPIS” and signed by its national president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU said its recent meeting with President Buhari was not special as it had done same with former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
The union wondered why the latest meeting was sensationalized by the media.
The communiqué read: “The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has found it necessary to correct the wrong impression created by a section of the media that the meeting of the union with President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on Thursday, 9th January 2020 was called solely to discuss the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which ASUU rejected, and still rejects, for sound reasons.
“ASUU believes that engagement with the leadership of Nigeria by the academic community should be a seamless process.
“Before the last visit to the State House, ASUU had previously engaged former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Musa Yar, Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan at various times respectively.
“Such visits afforded the union opportunities to put across the perspective of Nigerian academics on what role education should play in addressing national challenges.”
On issues discussed at the meeting, ASUU said “the meeting of ASUU with President Buhari was conceived in the broad context of education and national development within the Triple Helix principles as established in China, Singapore, and Malaysia, among other emerging economic powers.”
“The meeting was called in response to the union’s request as conveyed in its letter of 21st October 2019 to the President.
“The letter specifically outlined three issues for discussion.
“ASUU’s position on the violation of Universities’ Autonomy Law (Universities Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act 2003, Laws of the respective universities and Agreements with ASUU as it relates to the planned forceful enrolment of academics in Federal Universities on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).