ASUU: My Ability To Resolve Issues Won’t Fail – Gbajabiamila

The Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has assured the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU that the trust and confidence in his ability to resolve the lingering issues between ASUU and the government would not fail.

He was speaking at a resumed meeting with ASUU and the Accountant General of the Federation in Abuja.

He said the meeting resumed ensuring the government representatives ticked the payment clause.

“I thank you for ending the strike. I assure you everything will be done to make sure that the issue remains resolved.

“The best way to move forward is to have the Accountant General tell us the way forward. You called off the strike based on trust, and I appreciate that. If we are now asking for a signed document, where’s the place of trust?” Gbajabiamila noted.

He also stated that the meeting followed what was agreed on and to stick to it.

“Let’s give it time. I have written to the ministry on the white paper issue. We are taking these things one by one. We have 500 billion in the budget, and so on.

“Let bygones be bygones. Let’s tarry awhile and see. We have made an agreement, we are here to make sure that the agreement is practical and not theoretical,” he said.

The Speaker, while responding to the fact that previous administrations failed to honour previous agreements, said that in the past, the National Assembly was not part of any negotiations.

He added that because he is involved in the strike, there will be a difference. The Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh, called on ASUU to allow the matter to be rested.

He said that all ASUU’s concerns would be accomplished in the nation’s interest.

“We are accommodating some of those peculiarities that ASUU is talking about. I want the leadership of ASUU to trust us.

“We in the AG office will accommodate every concern of ASUU. I hope that if this is all that is left on the table, we are going to resolve it today,” Okolieaboh said.

While responding to the complications associated with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) in paying lecturers’ salaries instead of the Universities Transparency Accountability Solutions, UTAS,  Okolieaboh said that IPPIS was very safe and that there was nothing complicated about it.

He assured the attendees that ASUU would be fully integrated into the system in the next three months.

The National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said that the strike was called off based on trust in the Speaker.

He said ASUU or the government signed no document to end issues.

“We have agreed on IPPIS as a temporary measure and not long term because it will not solve the problems.they challenged us to produce a template for the government; we used our money and time to develop UTAS, which was not used.

“There is no way IPPIS can represent the universities, the greatest problem university has is funding. No university can invest again because of Treasury Single Account (TSA),” Prof. Osodeke stated.

He added that it would join in the negotiation with the office of the Accountant General, but if it fails, ASUU will revert to the Speaker.

Similarly, the Chairman Committee on Tertiary Education, Aminu Suleiman, called on ASUU to allow the process to yield results by giving it time.

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