Gbajabiamila appeals for calm, says Buhari to intervene soon – Veloxnews

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From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has appealed to the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to remain calm in view of their latest outcry over the half salary paid to them by the Federal Government in October.Gbajabiamila, in a statement , on Monday, he personally signed, on Monday, said efforts were on to find a lasting solution to concerns frequently raised by ASUU.ASUU, which recently sponsored its 8-months strike, had expressed reservations over the half salary received by its members in October.However, the speaker, while appealing to the academic staff for calm, said  President Muhammadu Buhari has indicated interest to wade into the latest concerns raised by the union.According to him, “when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off their industrial action three weeks ago, it meant that academic activities could resume in our nation’s public universities, and students could return to their academic pursuits after the prolonged interruption. This decision was rightly heralded nationwide as the correct decision.“Since then, the Executive and the House of Representatives have worked to address the issues that led to the strike. We are currently working on the 2023 Appropriations Bill, which includes N170 billion to provide a level of increment in the welfare package of university lecturers. The Bill also includes additional N300 billion revitalisation funds to improve the infrastructure and operations of federal universities.“Furthermore, the House of Representatives has convened the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other stakeholders to facilitate the adoption of elements of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). This effort is being supervised by the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, Rep. Aminu Suleiman.”Gbajabiamila explained that  the stance of  the Executive arm of government, that will not pay the university  lecturers for the period they were on strike is premised on the law and the government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.He added “nonetheless, interventions have been made to explore the possibility of partial payments to the lecturers. We look forward to a favourable consideration by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR who has manifested his desire to what is prudent and necessary to resolve all outstanding issues.“Implementing meaningful change takes time, especially when appropriations and modifications to systems such as IPPIS are required. Therefore, I urge all parties to be patient and grant each other the presumption of goodwill to the extent necessary to achieve our shared objectives. This is not a time for political brinkmanship.“There is no more pressing objective than to preclude the possibility of further disruptions to the academic calendar of the universities. We must prevent this possibility by all means, as these disruptions risk the promise and potential of our nation’s youth.”



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