The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may resume another round of industrial action following what the union termed the continuous refusal of the federal government to honour the agreement it signed with the union.
The ASUU Chairperson of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, who gave this indication fielding questions from a select group of journalists at the Union’s Secretariat at the weekend, explained that the strike was suspended in December 2020, after ASUU and the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the various issues providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items.
Said he, “It is over seven months after the MoU was signed and the federal government only addressed two out of the eight issues. Enough is enough, ASUU is fed up with deceptive antics of the federal government of Nigeria”
“The University Campuses are becoming restive across the length and breadth as Academics are threatening to shut down activities once again. This is coming as a result of the failure of the federal government to implement many aspects of memorandum of Action (MoA) it willingly signed with ASUU that ended the last strike in December, 2020”
“Given the glaring and deliberate failure of Government to honour the agreement it willingly signed with the Union, it is becoming obvious that industrial harmony is gradually being destroyed in the University Campuses.
“We therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to wake up the FGN from its slumber to avoid another disruption of academic activities on Universities Campuses across the nation; the atmosphere is tenses and charged”.
The ASUU chairperson used te opportunity to list some of the pending issues to include Earned Academic Allowance, Funding for revitalisation of public universities, Salary shortfall, Proliferation of state universities and Visitation Panel, Renegotiation, Replacement of the Integrated payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of Check-off Dues.
According to him, only salary shortfall and visitation panels to federal universities have been addressed.
He continued, “Renegotiation of the 2009 agreement which would have been completed within eight weeks from the date of inauguration of the committee have up till now not been concluded, even though the Committee was inaugurated since December 2020.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria willingly agreed that the UTAS will replace the IPPIS as a payment platform in Federal Universities after it passed an integrity test. However, soon after the agreement, agents of the FGN are doing everything possible to frustrate the coming of UTAS onboard’.
Inuwa further disclosed that Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) through the IPPIS office have continued to omit its members from payment of salaries while others experience serious salary amputation, saying that the act was carried out in connivance with the University Administration through the distortion of its members personal details.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.