Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has appealed to the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to accept what has been put on the table so far, while engagements to address all the issues continues.
The Speaker made the appeal on Thursday, after the resumed meeting of the House’s leadership with the union.
“The House in the next one week or so, will put up its report and recommendations, and take to Mr President”, he assured, and expressed hope that the president will accept same and act on it as soon as possible. “I am pleading with you. The House is pleading with you. We hope for the best”, he submitted.
Leadership of the House was informed last week by NITDA’s Director Information technology and Infrastructure Solution, Usman Abdullahi that the IPPIS, UTAS and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS) all failed its integrity tests regarding the university payroll.
The decision of federal government to ensure university lecturers enroll under the IIPIS was one of the contentious issues, as ASUU opted for its slf-developed platform, UTAS.
However, Director General of Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Nwabueze cautioned that the nation will not be able fund the use of multiple payment platforms.
“Acquiring and deploying any application will cost money on a continuous basis, to build infrastructure, you need data centre, you need backups and constant software updating. Considering the constrained fiscal space we found ourselves, we are vehemently opposed to multiple apps”, he stated, and also informed the Speaker that funds for the expected salty review of ASUU members will be captured in the 2023 budget.
On his part, Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Acting Sylva Okolieaboh, assured that if ASUU can sit with the office, and provide guidance on the areas of universities peculiarities it wanted addressed, the federal government will not hesitate to address the concerns.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, and Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan, who were in attendance also offer their readiness, with Ngige confirming that a letter for the approval of the salary rationalization as demanded by ASUU is before the president.