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President Buhari Directs Payment of Withheld Salaries of ASUU

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate payment of salaries of lecturers withheld for not registering with the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

THISDAY gathered that the gesture was a sign of the president’s goodwill to the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who have embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the non-fulfillment of a previous agreement with the government as well as the order stopping its members’ salaries.

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, told THISDAY yesterday that the president directed that the February and March salaries are paid immediately to help cushion the impact of the economic difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians.

Both the federal government and ASUU had expressed readiness for dialogue to address the lingering dispute, including the disagreement over IPPIS.

THISDAY had exclusively reported about plan by the federal government to release the withheld salaries of ASUU members as a form of an olive branch to help quicken the resolution of the crisis in the education sector.

Before talks broke down between the two sides in January, the federal government’s negotiating team had made offers to ASUU.

As a show of goodwill, ASUU recently urged its members nationwide to offer their services in the current efforts to contain COVID-19 in the country.

President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who spoke to THISDAY recently, said the union understood the precarious position the country had found itself and that it would be open to dialogue to resolve the issues.

Ogunyemi added that despite the fact that the federal government had enough opportunity to consider the union’s demands on the non-implementation of some key aspects of the February 7, 2019, Memorandum of Action (MoA) and the imposition of IPPIS, it directed the stoppage of lecturers’ February salary. (Thisdaylive)

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