The Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) has announced an extension of its lingering strike by four weeks to create time for the Federal Government to resolve outstanding issues.
In a statement signed by the Union President, Emmanuel Osodoke, after an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, held at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, Abuja, on Sunday the 31 July 2022, the roll-over will take effect from August 1st, 2022.
The statement read: “An emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held at the Comrade Festus lyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja, on Sunday, 31 July 2022. The meeting was called to review developments since NEC’s resolution to extend its roll-over strike action by another 12 weeks with effect from 9 May 2022.
“The NEC meeting took place against the backdrop of government’s obligations as spelt out in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with ASUU on the 23rd of December 2020.
“Specifically, [the] NEC recalled that government’s failure to conclude the process of renegotiating thee 2009 PGN/ASUU Agreement, deploy the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), pay outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), release agreed sum of money for the revitalization of public universities (Federal and States), address proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, settle promotion arrears, release withheld salaries of academics, and pay outstanding third-party deductions led to the initial declaration of the roll-over strike on 14 February 2022.”
The Union expressed concern over the strike that has taken five whole months already, adding that the NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari and visitors to all Federal Universities that the Minister of Education, in consultation with other government officials, should resolve the lingering crisis and report to him within two weeks.
The Union further acknowledged the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the Union’s principal demand for globally competitive university education in Nigeria.
Similarly, the Union stated that Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper, saying that the scholars must be incentivised to stay back and do what they know best.
“NEC appreciated the historic nationwide protest of 26 and 27 July 2022 organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to further create awareness on the antics of the Nigerian ruling class to destroy public education.”
Also, the Union renews its commitment to the struggles of NLC in championing the cause of the working and suffering Nigerians.
“NEC observed that non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 PGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by Professor Nimi Briggs-led Committee is further tasking the patience of ASUU members nationwide,” the statement added.
According to the statement, the Union observed that the ongoing trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, on allegation of monumental fraud had vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS).
“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is appointed to release reports of the latest tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) vis-a-vis IPPIS without further delay. ASUU shall resist any attempt to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all legitimate means available to the Union.
“NEC noted that cumulative indifference by the political class gave vent to the pervasive atmosphere of insecurity which now threatens seamless provision of education services in the country. The unceremonious closure of educational institutions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) following the recent attack on Presidential Guards betrays a panicky measure to addressing a malignant ailment. Nothing short of a comprehensive overhaul of the security architecture of the country will sustainably address the problem.
“Following extensive deliberations and taking cognisance of Government’s past failures to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA), NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for four weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.”
Nigeria’s Fuel Subsidy Removal May ‘Kill’ Small Businesses
Ayomide Ogunrinde, a 25-year-old student at the Tai Solarin University in Ogun State, aspires to become a chartered accountant in…