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We didn’t shelve court case.. We will never accept the Government payment method – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it is still interested in the suit preferred against it by the federal government over its lengthy industrial action.

Chris Piwuna, the union’s vice-president, who made the disclosure, also said the union will “never” accept the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for the payment of lecturers’ entitlements.

Piwuna spoke on Wednesday when he featured on a ‘Twitter Spaces’ conversation organised by PREMIUM TIMES.

He also said despite the appeal by Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, for the union’s withheld salaries to be paid, the lecturers have not been paid.

The federal government had said it would apply the ‘no work, no pay’ rule for the period of the strike by the university lecturers.

ASUU went on strike in February over government’s failure to implement its demands on salaries and allowances of lecturers, improved funding for universities, as well as the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) against the federal government’s preferred payment platform — Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The federal government had said the adoption of more than one payment platform would lead to additional costs, which the government cannot afford to take on.

Speaking on the ‘Twitter Spaces’ conversation, Piwuna said the union’s stance on IPPIS will not change.

“We are not accepting that IPPIS in any shape or form. ASUU will never accept IPPIS on our campuses,” he said.

“Autonomy of Nigerian university is our problem, not the peculiarities in IPPIS. The office of the head of service of the federation has taken over the work of the university governing councils and vice-chancellors. We are asking that they take their hands off the universities.”

He added that ASUU would still explore legal options regarding the strike, which was recently called off following a judgment by the appeal court.

“Our lawyers will continue to argue our case in court and we believe that the continuation of the case in court is very important for the labour movement in this country,” he said.

“And in the response of our lawyers, they had to raise issues of agreement that have not been kept and all of that.

“We are interested in the court case. We are hoping that the judges will listen and they are watching the government and they can say ASUU is nothing other than a respectable union that has respect for the court.”

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