From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Kano Zone of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has blasted the minister of education, Adamu Adamu for failing to mediate adequately, in the crisis between the union and the office of the president over the issue of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The union also berated the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige for becoming the government’s agent of propaganda and “woefully failed in his mandate to mediate dispassionately.”
In a press conference, held at Bayero University Kano yesterday, the Zonal Coordinator of the union, Mahmud M. Lawal said the two ministers had failed to perform their constitutional duty of mediating the impasse with the federal government, instead becoming the agents of propaganda by the government.
According to him, the union is disappointed to have noticed that the federal government is using the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to frustrate all the previous ASUU-FGN agreements reached so far.
According to Lawal, ASUU is not in crisis with the federal government over IPPIS, adding that it is a battle that has been there for over three decades to draw the attention of the government to do the needful in development of university education.
He said, “As you are aware that we in ASUU with the constitutional obligation of protecting advancing the socio-economic and cultural interests of the nation have continued through the decades to struggle for the survival and revitalization of public universities”.
Professor Lawal explained that the Kano zone of ASUU is compelled to unfortunately call a spade a spade on the current prolonged impasse between the federal government and the union.
He lamented that “it is noteworthy for the patriotic of Nigerian to know that the Union has noticed that the office of the Minister of labour and employment ,Mr Chris Ngige which is supposed to serve in conciliatory capacity has instead, become a government propaganda machine throughout the engagement and has woefully failed in its mandate to mediate dispassionately “.
Mr Lawal explained that the future of university education in this country will depend, to a large degree, on the amount of interest shown by Nigerian public on university affairs and happenings in their campuses.
The Kano zonal coordinator also recalled that their members have vowed never to enroll on the IPPIS platform despite being subjected and their families to serious hunger, starvation and deprivation by withholding their salaries.
He said the IPPIS is a world bank project hoisted in Nigeria as an economic reform and governance project under a credit loan of US$140 million launched in 2007 by the Federal government.
According to him, ASUU has vehemently opposed and resisted the implementation of IPPIS because its deployment into Universities is blatant erosion and desecration of the hard won University autonomy.
Professor Mahmud said Universities all over the world are known as citadels of innovation, research and development, as such require freedom and autonomy for critical thinking and investigation to make meaningful contributions to addressing the challenges of national development.
The Kano Zone of ASUU comprises Bayero University Kano, Ahmad Bello University Zaria, Kaduna state University, Kano University of Science and Technology Wudil, Yusuf Maitama Sule University Kano, and Sule Lamido University Jigawa.