The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has debunked rumours making the rounds on social media that it would call off its seven-month-old industrial action this week.
Some social media channels have published statements purportedly captured from ASUU’s Twitter handle urging students of all federal universities across the country to prepare to return to school this week as the lecturer’s union was optimistic that its meeting with federal government on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, would produce a truce and an end to the labour crisis.
In a letter signed by the national president of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, addressed to zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons of the academic union and made available to the press described the Twitter message as spurious and such that should be protested against.
Ogunyemi explained that ASUU does not have any presence on any social media platform as a national union. “Please be informed that ASUU Leadership at the National level does not maintain any social media presence, being [sic] it Twitter handle, Facebook Account or Page, WhatsApp Account (single or group), etc.
He, therefore, directed all ASUU branch chairpersons “to encourage their members who are active on Twitter to rebuff the Twitter Account Official_ASUU with the handle @ASUUNGR and report same as spurious to enable Twitter LLC pull down the account.”
In a related development, federal government is considering dropping of the highly contentious payment platform, the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for ASUU and other labour unions.
Speaking to the press on Sunday, the spokesman for the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said that government was out to save cost and that government was open to adopting any payment platform that could prove better than IPPIS. He said that government was encouraging research and development in tertiary institutions in the country.
It would be recalled that ASUU has named the dropping of IPPIS as the payment platform for the university system in the country as one of its demands that must be met if the strike must be called off, saying that adopting of that platform would rob the Nigerian university system of its autonomy and rubbish its personnel engagement in the face of global best practices.
Other unions that have kicked against IPPIS are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN). SSANU and NASU are backing out of the system having been captured already between September and December last year. According to the leadership of the two unions, they have discovered that IPPIS is a scam which the federal government stealthily deceived them to buy into.