The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has refused to call off its ongoing strike despite payment of withheld February and March salaries of university lecturers by President Muhammadu Buhari.
KanyiDaily had earlier reported that Buhari approved immediate payment of the withheld salaries of university lecturers who had not been captured in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information platform (IPPIS).
Reacting to the payment of the withheld salaries, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, insisted that the lecturers would not resume work because the strike was not only about IPPIS.
He, however, noted that the payment would pave the way for a meaningful dialogue with the government.
“Now, we can discuss without an atmosphere of intimidation. This will lead to a meaningful dialogue. The ongoing industrial strike action by the union is still on. Our strike is not just about the IPPIS,” he said.
He also queried the Federal Government’s motive of asking Vice-Chancellors to pay lecturers with their Bank Verification Number.
“If they had not paid at this time, with what everyone is going through, it would have meant a declaration of war. The discussion will start when they pay. They have even attached a condition to the payment.
“Our members weren’t paid with BVN in the past. Why the sudden change? They should go back to the old system which they have always used to pay.”
“Paying the lecturers was not a favour. Members worked in February and we were still working in March before this coronavirus pandemic broke.
“It is expected that a labourer is paid his wages. Even as we are talking, people are supposed to be prepared to get their April salary.”
KanyiDaily recalls last month that ASUU had declared an indefinite strike over government withholding of the salaries of its members, who defied the order of government to enroll in the IPPIS.
While ASUU declared an indefinite strike, the government closed down all schools as part of the measures to contain the apread of coronavirus.