Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi who said members would continue strike until all issues are settled was able to present Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS to the Nigerian Senate on Monday 12th of October, 2020.
Ogunyemi had said that, since Federal Government’s implementation of Integrated Payroll and Personel Information System (IPPIS), payment of salaries to ASUU members are not being made. This time, ASUU is involving those in the position of authority to get things done by dialogue and negotiation. I think if the union had adopted this pattern all the years, there won’t be incessant strike. Education in the country will also not be in mess.
On the other hand, those in the corridor of power that are involve in the negotiation like the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu among others tend not to value the education system of this country. How can the Minister of State for Education be telling academics to resign and return to Farm just because of the temporary public office he is holding? We shall all see the fate of everyone presently thwarting education in Nigeria by 2023.
Minister of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu.
The present effort of ASUU must be commended and this will go a longer way to also improve support for education by the government. It is also commendable because, the UTAS is home developed by ASUU which is evidence that Nigerians are resourceful. The greatness Nigeria hope to attain can only be achieved by believing in Nigerians and exploring talents within.
The Minister of Labour also attested to the possibility of adopting UTAS for academics if it is able to pass integrity test. Everything made by man can’t be perfect but, can be improved. If UTAS has shortcomings, it can be improved. The little deficiency should not be instrument of condemnation because, it covers all the Emoluments and Allowances of academics. Unlike IPPIS that is meant for Civil Servants, UTAS has coverage over Earned Allowances of all academics and non-academic staff of universities in Nigeria.
If the Minister of Education and that of Labour and Employment can embrace UTAS, other issues presented by ASUU will be minor.
If the military can pull out of IPPIS, and other parastatals like Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, are not being paid through this medium, then Universities staff have the right to reject whatever that does not suit their salary structure.
The Executives of this country need to hold education to high esteem like Germany and Canada where Teachers of all levels in education are well paid and treated.
Financing research should be done for development by government.
Academics should also not take law into their hand by holding the future of young Nigerians to ransom due to their personal interest rather adopt this dialogue and negotiation with other arms of government for intervention.