Reporter: UJU UDUEZUE
The long running dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Federal Government, bordering on welfare and greater funding of the Universities, has no doubt disrupted the academic calendar with attendant negative consequences on the students.
The on-going strike commenced in February, 2020, following a deadlock between ASUU and FG over enrollment into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
A Professor of Theatre and Film Technology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Professor Charles Nwadigwe, says ASUU is not against IPPIS but the Software that powered it.
Professor Nwadigwe, who was reacting to recent Presidential pronouncement that only federal workers on IPPIS would be paid salaries, maintained that the modalities used in implementing IPPIS were faulty.
The FG announced the enrollment as a condition for continuous payment of salaries of academic staff in federal universities, which the teachers objected to.
According to Professor Nwadigwe, there is a lot of discrepancies and irregularities in payment of salaries with IPPIS among university staff as he insists on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which the union proposed for their salary payment.
The don argued that mobility among the teaching staff of universities should not be seen as fraudulent, rather a way of offering special services to institutions of higher learning in the country where such services were needed.
Corroborating his view, another lecturer in the Department of Botany, Dr. Kenneth Ekwualor, appealed to the Federal Government to live up to the agreement entered with the ASUU in the interest of the students, who were at the receiving end of the impasse.
Dr. Ekwualor expressed regret that at sixty, Nigeria was still crawling, pointing out that without education no country could develop.
A lecturer at the Library and Information Science, Mrs. Augusta Ezeabasili, expressed surprise that some ASUU members were paid by IPPIS without formal registration.
She also complained about irregularities noticed in the salaries of some staff.
Radio Nigeria later spoke with some students, who expressed regret about the situation and called for quick resolution of the impasse to restore industrial harmony in government owned universities.