Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) not to embark on a fresh strike, eight months after the union suspended a nine-month long strike action that paralysed the nation’s universities and disrupted academic calendars.
Nwajiuba says the reason why ASUU hasn’t received monies as promised in 2020 before the last strike was called off, is because bureaucracy at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is delaying the disbursement.
University lecturers had gone on strike in March 2020 following their disagreement with the government over the funding of the universities, discrepancies around the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), among others.
However, ASUU developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to replace the IPPIS and held several meetings with officials of the ministries of finance, education, labour and employment, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, before the UTAS was approved and before the last strike was suspended.
UTAS is yet to be implemented, however.
On August 2, Labour Minister Chris Ngige, said the government had paid the revitalisation fund as contained in the Memorandum of Action (MOU) signed with ASUU.
Ngige also stated that the money is in the coffers of the CBN, pending the conclusion of an audit. A statement Nwajiuba has now rehashed.“We are pursuing the CBN to be clear on the timing. Let ASUU reach out to us,” said the minister of education.