The federal government has resumed discussions with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to resolve the lingering strike, which has now lasted over 6 months.
It will be recalled that ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike following its opposition to the government’s move to enforce the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System salary payment platform.
The union had instead, proposed a different payment platform, the University Transparency Account System, to replace the IPPIS.
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So far, all efforts to reach a consensus on this has proved abortive. The efforts at resumption were also stalled by restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, there were indications that the strike action may soon be resolved when, on Tuesday, ASUU was summoned to a meeting by the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan along with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
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The meeting, which was chaired by Senator Lawan, also had in attendance, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Accountant -General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and the ASUU leadership led by the President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi.
There are speculations that the two parties might reach a consensus today, Thursday, since the federal government has said it might consider the adoption of the University Transparency Account System (UTAS) on Tuesday.
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The labour minister, Chris Ngige, disclosed the willingness to embrace the idea while addressing journalists after the closed-door meeting with the leadership of the Senate and ASUU, which lasted for nearly three hours.