The president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, has disclosed that the union has been unable to hold a physical meeting with the Federal Government due to the pandemic. He also explained that the union refused to hold meeting via Zoom platform with the Federal Government’s representatives, saying such meetings would not yield any tangible result as it would be difficult to control.
According to ASUU President, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, invited the union to a meeting in Abuja, as a response to union’s last official correspondence to him where the union rejected the submission of their Bank Verification Numbers as a condition for payment of lecturers’ outstanding salaries.
However, the union delegates were unable to go for the meeting due to the current lockdown which led the minister to suggest that both parties meet via Zoom platform. he stated that the union refused because such meeting cannot yield any positive result when most of their physical meetings in the past ended in a stalemate. He said the union is waiting for things to return to normal for a physical meeting to be possible.
He acknowledged that the government has indeed paid salaries of some members of the union, but not all. “Many of our members are yet to get their salaries as of Monday, and some of those who had even been paid were not paid in full. We are collating data to enable us know those affected,” he said.
He said though that salaries are not their major demand from the government but the implementation of the last Memorandum of Action to re-engineer the nation’s public university education.
The ASUU president said no member of the union submitted BVN before payment of their salaries.
“We knew submission of our BVN would lead to our forceful participation in the Integrated and Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the Federal Government and we still stand against the policy,” he declared.