The Academic Staff Union of Universities said it would end the strike action after its home-grown University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) passes the federal government’s integrity test.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, the association’s national leader and president, Professor Bidoun Okeowo, gave the assurance with questions popping up on when the lecturers will resume back to classrooms.
Recalls that the federal government and the leadership of ASUU struck a unilateral decision after months of disparity and meetings mostly characterised by deadlock.
The federal government on Thursday, October 15, resolved to pay university lecturers the sum of N30 billion earned academic allowances.
According to the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, the money would be paid in instalments from May 2021 to January 2022, with the federal government also saying it would release N20 billion meant for the revitalisation of the education sector.
ASUU was expected to call off its strike and mandate lecturers to resume back to lecture rooms on Wednesday, October 21, after the agreement.
But Professor Okeowo said UTAS, which is a payment system developed by ASUU in place of the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), is still going through an integrity test handled by NITDA.
“In principal, they have accepted UTAS and told us to go for the test, and on our part, we have started the process. We had presented UTAS at three levels. . . If the government facilitates it, it is not something that should drag for too long at all.
“We don’t foresee any problem with UTAS; it also depends on how early the government makes it possible for the integrity test to be conducted.”
This is when we’ll end strike – ASUU raises students’ hope after agreement with FG