The Nigerian government has insisted that it won’t back down on its Integrated Personnel and Information System policy.
The federal government made this assertion on Thursday during a meeting with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in an effort to resolve the union’s face-off with the government over the matter.
The minister of finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said at the meeting that up to 70 per cent of university lecturers had already enrolled in the system, arguing that it was an indication of its acceptance by the majority of the teachers.
According to her, up to 96,090 out of the 137,016 university lecturers in the country had already joined the scheme, adding that officials sent to the universities to register the lecturers were harassed and turned away by the teachers.
However, The Interview learnt that the ASUU team, led by the President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, disagreed with the minister, expressing surprise that she could give such figures.
The government team had the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu; Minister of Finance/Budget/National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in its delegation.
However, the presidency in a statement signed by special adviser to Buhari, Femi Adesina, after the meeting, said Buhari promised increased funding of the university system to enable it to deliver on its mandate of providing quality education.
He asked the lecturers to support the IPPIS.
“The President urged members of ASUU to assist the federal government in realising the target of improved education and credible certificates by complying with ongoing verification and validation of human resources in the universities, which will guarantee optimum output”, Adesina said.
The statement added that the finance minister advised ASUU at the session to encourage the remaining 40,926 members to comply with the IPPIS.