The Federal Government has declared that striking lecturers cannot dictate to the Federal Government how they should be paid, urging the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to embrace Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) as a recognised platform for payment of Federal workers.
Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, shortly after declaring his intention to run for the office of the President in 2023 general elections.
While fielding questions from newsmen, the Minister said the Federal Government is working out a plan to fully implement the Universities Autonomy Act by granting Universities financial autonomy.
He said that ASUU members would only relate with the Governing Councils of their various institutions as their employers.
ASUU) has insisted that its members would not resume work until the federal government implements the lecturers’ preferred payment system known as the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
The union created UTAS as an alternative to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) which the federal government uses to pay its workers in the public sector.
But Nwajiuba said: “The engagement with ASUU has been a long drawn on based on the 2009 agreement that was signed before we came into government. It is the duty of the Government to give life to those agreements, which ASUU seeks to ensure that the Universities owned by the Federal Government are properly funded.
“But the Federal Government funding is very limited because of additional challenges of security and infrastructure. Government can only borrow money to build special infrastructure like railway and not to pay people,” he said.
He insisted that ASUU could not tell the Government that is paying them salaries how they should be paid while also appealing to the Union to call off the strike because of the students who bear the brunt at the end of the day.