Minister says 'Nothing stops lecturers from calling off strike today as FG, ASUU meet again, - THE LIVING GUIDE

Minister says 'Nothing stops lecturers from calling off strike today as FG, ASUU meet again,

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By Lekan Lisoye

As the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities continue their parley on Wednesday to resolve their differences, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has said there is “absolutely nothing” stopping lecturers from returning to work even “tomorrow”.

The lecturers and the Federal Government are due to meet again in Abuja in furtherance of their dialogue to resolve the issues that had led to the strike by ASUU members since March 2020.

But Nwajiuba, who acknowledged the essence of continued dialogue with the lecturers, however, said on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, that with the level of compliance with the demands of the lecturers, nothing stops them from resuming.

He said: “The lecturers can be back in the classroom tomorrow if they say they want to go back.

“There is nothing withholding lecturers from going back to the classroom tomorrow.

“Absolutely nothing.

“Everything the government should do has been done.

“If you want your salaries, get on the platform and collect your salaries.”

Reacting to the allegation that he said the Federal Government will not accept alternative payments platform except the IPPIS, Nwajiuba said: “I have not said there is no way the government will not ever have a different application.

“But I am saying this is what we have now.

“The government will continually improve its service.

“If UTAS, as we go ahead, becomes even a better platform for everybody and they offer it free to government, of course, we are a responsive government, we will simply migrate to it.”

Nwajiuba also denied that the Federal Government was owing all the lecturers eight months salary across board.

He said: “We asked all our Vice-Chancellors across the country to give us the BVN of all of their people who are eligible for salaries which they did.

“The BVN marries with the IPPIS and they were migrated to the IPPIS and they were all paid.

“Of course, there may be people who didn’t submit at the time but that is being sorted out in the office of the accountant general.
“But I think it is a lie to say the government has not paid them in eight months.

“It will be unfair to the government.”

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