(By Silas Ofori)-Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, whose salaries had been withheld for refusing enrollment in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, can now smile following approval for their payment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidential approval was given on Tuesday in Abuja after a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the development was confirmed on Wednesday by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
The move, which analysts consider to be timely in view of the coronavirus threat and the attendant lockdowns across the country, and Boss Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the approval was to enable the lecturers cope with the emergent economic challenges occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
With this development, some observers believe that ASUU has won a major battle in decades of agitations for university autonomy and improved funding of education in Nigeria. However, whether this approval will for close future debate over the IPPIS enrollment, and also deflate the momentum gathered by the alleged opportunistic parallel academic union on campus will be known by the time the cloud of coronavirus is cleared and normalcy returns in all sectors of the economy.