By Adesina Wahab
The directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that the February and March 2020 salaries of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, withheld because of their refusal to enrol in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, be paid as soon as possible will lead to meaningful dialogue with the government.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, said this on Tuesday evening during a chat with our correspondent.
He also stated that the directive was in the right direction.
“Our members worked in February and we were still working in March before this Coronavirus pandemic broke. It is expected that a labourer be paid his wages. Even as we are talking, people are supposed to be prepared to get their April salary.
“I think what the government wants to do is to cushion the effects of the lockdown and the near paralysis of economic activities in the country on everybody including our members. We appreciate the gesture even though there was no reason to stop our salaries in the first instance,”he said.
The ASUU boss, however, did not say when the ongoing industrial action by the union would be called off.
It was gathered that the moment the salaries are paid, the National Executive Committee of the union would meet to deliberate on the next line of action.
Recall that ASUU has been at loggerheads with the Federal Government over the IPPIS matter.
While other trade unions in the university system opted to enrol in IPPIS, ASUU boycotted it, saying it would cripple the university system and erode the autonomy being enjoyed.
Early March, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT that supported IPPIS said they would embark on strike following the discrepancies in the payment of their February salary.