The Federal Government Wednesday denied reports that it was planning to introduce different payment platforms for all the trade unions in tertiary educational institutions in the country, as the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) lingers.
Government has also summoned all the relevant agencies including the National Information Development Agency (NITDA), Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to brief it on the success so far recorded in resolving the contentious issues that led to the ongoing strike by the four university based unions.
University lecturers had insisted on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) it created, claiming that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was short changing them.
Government in March said UTAS has failed three integrity tests.
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) had also Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS), as their own payment platform.
Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige while responding to questions from State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, assured that efforts were on to resolving the ongoing faceoff between it and ASUU and other university based unions over payment platforms soon.
He said contrary to insinuations that the government was not engaging with ASUU, there have been series of meetings between all parties with the next one coming up on Thursday
Recall ASUU went on strike on February 14th, 2022 and SSANU, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, (NAAT), joined the strike over the inability of the government to address their concerns.
Ngige said that the Thursday meeting is expected to look at the progress report by the relevant bodies handling the crisis, including NITDA, on how far it has gone with the integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability System, UTAS which was proposed as an alternative platform by ASUU and the University Perculiar Personnel and Payroll System, U3PS, proposed by SSANU and NASU.
Ngige said he was waiting for the report of the Tripartite Plus Committee comprising the Ministry of Education, the Chief of Staff, Salaries and Wages Income Commission, the National University Commission, NUC as well as the striking unions.
On the allegation that the federal government was planning to create a separate salary payment structure for the ASUU, the Minister said there was no veracity in such allegation.