The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday, presented its own alternative payroll system tagged, ‘University Transparency and Accountability Solution’, to the Senate.
The President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, addressed journalists after about a three-hour closed-door session with the leadership of the Senate.
Ogunyemi said the visit was a follow up to the earlier one held between ASUU and the Senate in October 2019 to find a way out of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System crisis.
The university teachers and the Senate leadership had at the October meeting agreed that ASUU would design an alternative to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System
The ASUU leaders had on the occasion urged the Senate leadership to give them an opportunity to design a payroll system that would accommodate the peculiarity of the university system.
Ogunyemi told journalists after the Monday meeting that the UTAS it had developed, was a home- grown method that would end its ongoing eight-month industrial action if embraced by the Federal Government.
He said the meeting with the Senate leadership would continue at a later date.
He said “I can only say, for now, we had a positive meeting which was cordial and we are going to continue from there.
“What we have started is to open the issues, we will still meet again to continue from where we stopped.
“We have developed what we call University Transparency and Accountability Solution. We have presented it to the Senate today and the Senate President commended it.
“We are going to present the platform to other stakeholders. UTAS is homegrown while IPPIS is foreign, we are talking about local content.
“We have shown that we are inventors, we are creators of software and we are also capable of doing what our colleagues are doing in other parts of the world.
“Nigerian scholars are not inferior why should we be patronising foreigners for what we can do in Nigeria?”
Ogunyemi said ASUU had never shifted from its position to oppose the IPPIS which would not benefit his members.
In his opening remarks, before the closed-session, the Senate President said the meeting was to explore further, how the Senate and indeed the National Assembly could intervene to resolve the issues that were yet outstanding.
He berated the Federal Government for signing unrealistic agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities
Lawan wondered why the representative of the Federal Government would endorse an agreement that they knew would not be implemented.
He said, “I think as parliamentarians we have to tell the truth as it is, no matter how bitter it may be at the right place and at the right time.
“When we sign agreements we must do so with the full intention of implementing them.
” When we negotiate, we must negotiate in such a manner that the final product will be implementable.
“This is to say that we have to accommodate each other with the government doing what it is supposed to do and ASUU being the body of our lecturers, stands to protect its members.
” Everybody else in the country must ensure that our universities remain open and functioning because it does not do anybody any good when the universities are shut.”
Lawan said the meeting between the Senate and ASUU was meant to look into areas of agreement and see how to accommodate ASUU as well as how the government would be able to implement the agreements.
He also pleaded with the ASUU to be too rigid in its demands in order to move the country forward.
He said, “I am sure that we need to review some of the items on the agreements, I don’t know who will be hurt when I say that but the reality is that so many things have happened.
“We cannot have an agreement signed in 2009 and still think this is the only way we can deal with it.
“We should be able to have a look at the agreements signed and see at this time whether or not some of the issues are really practicable at all.
“We have to be realistic. I always hold this belief that the government should not sign agreements when it knows that it cannot implement them.
“Under whatever situation, let the government be practical and ASUU, being a very patriotic body, will understand with the government when there are sincerity and honesty in negotiating such agreements.”