To avert the looming strike by universities teachers, under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), if it failed to pay January salaries of members who refuse to enroll onto the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Federal Government may have extended the deadline for them to key into the scheme, as it has paid their January salaries.

The government had earlier threatened to stop payment of the salaries by the end of last month. In response, ASUU, at the last National Executive Congress (NEC) held early January in Minna, Niger State, resolved to activate indefinite strike as soon as government enforces its no IPPIS, no salary policy.

The payment of the salaries has put paid to any industrial action by the union, at least for now. Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Lagos Zone, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, confirmed to The Guardian that ASUU members received their salaries at the early hours of yesterday.

The ASUU chairman, however, stressed that despite the settlement of their January salary, the union was not leaving anything to chance and would launch immediate response to government’s next line of action.“ASUU has made several submissions to the President on IPPIS during our last meeting with him. Apart from that, we also made submission on university funding, renegotiation on 2009 ASUU agreement, sources of funds for universities to augment the federal government subvention, we have made submission on visitation panel to universities, which is the real way of checking corruption in the university system and others.

“But we were surprised that despite the President’s directive to the Minister of Education to commence work on all our submissions, the next information we heard was that the federal government was suspending our salaries, which we considered as clear indication that it was working in uncoordinated manners,” Barde explained.