The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has once again extended its ongoing strike by another 4 weeks to give the Federal Government more time to resolve outstanding issues in its dispute with the union.
This is as the union had earlier revealed that they are yet to hear from the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, despite the promises made to President Muhammadu Buhari that the strike would be resolved.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, who said decision was taken after the National Executive Council meeting of the union at its national secretariat in Abuja on Sunday.
What ASUU is saying
ASUU, in its statement, said it viewed the recent directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari that the minister of education should resolve the lingering crisis, with seriousness.
- It stated, “The Union wonders why it had taken five full months and needless muscle-flexing for government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement.
- “NEC acknowledged the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the Union’s principled demand for a globally competitive university education in Nigeria. Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper and our scholars must be incentivised to stay back and do what they know best, here in Nigeria.
- “NEC observed that non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-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.
- “NEC further observed that the on-going trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed ldris, on allegation of monumental fraud has vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS). The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is enjoined to release reports of the latest tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) vis-à-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 pervasive atmosphere of insecurity which now threatens seamless provision of educational 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. The role-over strike action is with effect from 12.01a.m. on Monday, 1st August, 2022.”
What you should know
- ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.
- Some of the lecturers’ demands include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances, and adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option, instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and payment of promotion arrears.
- Others are the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement and the resolution of inconsistencies in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS)
- ASUU on May 9, further extended its ongoing strike by another 12 weeks to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues after an extension on March 14 due to an alleged lack of seriousness on the part of the federal government.
- The Federal Government’s Briggs renegotiation committee, had since April 2022, been meeting with ASUU and other labour unions in the universities, who are all currently on strike due to its dispute with the government and non-resolution of demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the federal government.
- The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had on July 26 and 27, embarked on a 2-day nationwide protest in solidarity with the ongoing strike action by ASUU aimed at pressurizing the Federal Government to conclude negotiations with striking universities unions and ensure that public universities resume for normal activities, among others.