Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba has insisted that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cannot dictate to the Federal Government what platform is to be used in paying their salaries.
Addressing journalists after receiving the presidential Nomination Form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) purchased for him by the Project Nigeria Group, Nwajiuba stated that lecturers should address issues on payment of their salaries within the ambit of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
He also appealed to the striking lecturers to return to the classroom as the Federal Government is working to address some of their concerns.
The Minister said;
“It is impractical and incongruous to continuously expect that somebody who is paid a salary continues to dictate to the someone who pays him: ‘This is how you must pay me’. This is where this anomaly is.
“We have pleaded with ASUU that ‘If there any areas where your salaries fall short, kindly address them within the ambit of IPPIS because that’s what the government has now.’”
Nwajiuba who further claimed that the strike embarked upon by ASUU was uncalled for, also expressed worry over the impact of the union’s action on the education of Nigerian students.
“Why they have chosen to go on strike over this (IPPIS) is what you and I can explain. There is nothing that ASUU wants that we have not agreed to. We would like them to go back to classes so that students can go back to class.
“As the nation earns, we pay them. As the nation makes money, they would get money. What we don’t want is for the children to miss the opportunity of their own time because there is a timeframe within which children must grow. The child cannot wait. It is important that ASUU returns to class.”