The Federal Government of Nigeria has laid the blame for the #EndSARS protests currently rocking various cities across the country at the doorstep of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige on Thursday, said if the union was not on strike, students will not be available to participate in the protests.
Ngige made his view known in Abuja during a meeting with ASUU on how to end the lingering strike action which has kept the doors and gates of the nation’s public universities closed.
He, however, added that the government will do all within its power to ensure that the strike is called off and students and lecturers return to classes.
The Minister led the federal government delegation to the meeting while the ASUU delegation was led by its National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi.
According to the minister: “For the past one week, we have all been on our toes, we have been meeting and we pray that this meeting will yield some good fruits. We don’t take very great pleasure to the fact that the children who are supposed to be in school are being recruited into the #EndSARS, #EndStrike, #EndSWAT and all the kind of situations. As much as possible, we will try to see how we can meet ourselves halfway, so that we can resolve this crisis to the benefits of all and the country at large.”
On the University Transparency and Accountability System(UTAS), the system proposed by ASUU as an alternative to government’s IPPIS, Ngige explained that the first test has been concluded which is the integrity test but there are two more to be done on the platform, and until the tests are concluded, a definite position can’t be adopted.
He said: “We have had the preliminary report and test run on the UTAS, which is the University Transparency Accountability Solution. We believe that with that, we will be able to get it right.
“Let me make it clear to members of the press, we never said UTAS will replace IPPIS as some of you are reporting. No! The UTAS developed by them is for the university systems and they feel that it captures the peculiarities that are configured to accommodate all the peculiarities of the university systems especially as it affects the Professors and other teaching staff, and even the non-academic staff. That is the situation.”
“We, as government feel we are going to put it up for tests – three stages of test. We have done the first stage of test which is within the timeline of six months that ASUU promised. We are going to do other integrity test, Alpha test, Beta test and the one they call roll-over and other whatever test. It is the technologists that know all those tests. But this is the round we are going on now.”
Source: Naija News