FG Declares ASUU Strike Ilegal

Dr Chris Ngige

The Federal Government has declared the current two-week warning strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, illegal.

It accused ASUU of not following laid down procedures before embarking on the industrial action.

This position was made known by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige in Abuja after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, 11th March 2020.

Ngige said ASUU did not give the Government the “mandatory notice” required before a union could proceed on strike.

He noted that having failed to follow the laid down procedures, it amounted to corruption for the University teachers to go on strike.

The Minister said “I am in shock; the strike is illegal because they did not give us the mandatory notice. If you withdraw services and you still want to be be paid, it is corruption”.

ASUU, while declaring the warning strike, had stated that the Government is yet to address issues raised in the agreement it reached with the Union from 2009 to 2019 including poor funding of the university system.

The immediate issue now is the Union’s opposition to the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the Government, which is designed to capture all Federal Government Workers under one payment system

The Government Target is to eliminate “ghost workers” but ASUU has consistently kicked against it because it would not suit the university system

In place of IPPIS, the Union proposed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which it said would address the peculiar case of the universities.

When asked for the Government’s final opinion on the IPPIS, Ngige replied that after the Union visited the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) earlier in the year, the Government stood its ground on IPPIS.