At last, the Federal Government has paid the February and March salaries of striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) two months after withholding the lecturers’ salaries over their failure to enrol on the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The lecturers were reportedly paid on Friday. President Muhammadu Buhari had in April directed that salaries of the striking lecturers be paid. However, the lecturers refused to provide their Bank Verification Number (BVN), a precondition for the payment.
Some of the lecturers disclosed the news of the payment via social media. Recall that the lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on March 23 after the government stopped their salaries because they refused to enrol in the centralised payment platform for Federal Government workers otherwise known as IPPIS.
It was learnt that the lecturers got their salaries without supplying their BVN. The lecturers had been on strike before the Federal Government ordered the closure of all the schools in the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, as the Federal Government ordered universities to migrate online to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on learning, the government through the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, promised to resolve the labour crisis with the union to enable the lecturers to return to the classroom.
Earlier, the National President of ASUU, Abiodun Ogunyemi, had said that the payment of the lecturers’ salaries was a prerequisite for engaging in meaningful discussion with the government.