The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria, ASUU, has called off its protracted strike action. This was disclosed yesterday, 18th November 2020. The Union stated that it came to the decision after an agreement was made with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 16th of November 2020, in which the Federal Government had in a signed Memorandum of Action agreed to embark on processes to address the contentious issues within a timeframe of three months culminating in February 2021. Consequently, ASUU has suspended their strike action and apologised for the inconvenience the strike has caused for students and parents.
The most contentious issues in the deliberations between the Federal Government and the ASUU are the refusal of the ASUU to conform to the IPPIS which is a system of payroll management for all civil and public service adopted by the Federal Government and the demand of the allowances; and the issue of funding for the universities and its accompanying questions of autonomy.
The ASUU embarked on the strike action more than seven months ago, on 4th of April 2020. The Union insisted that it has developed its own system of payroll management application and will not comply with the Federal Government’s IPPIS, which it claimed is not relevant to the nature of the services of Academic Staff of universities. The Government on their part, were adamant that the academic staff of universities will only be paid through IPPIS, claiming that the IPPIS will help deal with a lot of discrepancies associated with foul play in the civil service.
ASUU warned that it will not hesitate to resume the strike should the Federal Government renege on its promise as stated in the Memorandum of Action.
This will come as a welcome development for the stakeholders especially for students who have remained in limbo since April. The lingering strike action had compounded the calendar activities of universities and complicated time schedules as there are millions of students expected to commence their first year programmes this year while millions more have also joined the queue in search of admission into the tertiary institutions.
With the year just over a month remaining to end, one wonders how the impending programme hiccups will be dealt with.