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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Abuja zone says there will be no resumption in public universities until the renegotiated 2009 agreement is signed, implemented and the University Transparency and Accountability Solution deployed.
The ASUU zonal coordinator, Dr Salawu Lawal, made this known during a press conference at the University of Abuja in Gwagwalada on Monday.
According to him, members are ready to return to their duty posts as soon as their demands are met by the Federal Government.
He said, “You would recall that the Academic Staff Union of Universities declared a four-week rolling strike at the University of Lagos National Executive Council meeting held on February 14.
“Owing to the failure of the Federal Government to act within that period, the national action was rolled over for another eight weeks following the resolution taken at an emergency NEC meeting at the Festus Iyayi National Secretariat on March 14.
“The action, as you are probably aware is to, among other things, compel the Federal Government to sign and implement the draft renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement submitted to it by the Prof. Munzali Committee in May 2021.
“Deploy for use in the Nigerian university system, was the home-grown payment and personnel solution called UTAS developed by ASUU as replacement for the failed IPPIS.
“As usual, the Federal Government has ignored ASUU’s call for full implementation of that famous agreement and other memoranda signed with the union.
“No meeting has been held between the two parties since the commencement of the ongoing strike. The only exception is our union’s re-submission of UTAS for a retest.
“The summary is that unless and until the renegotiated 2009 agreement is signed and implemented and UTAS deployed, there will be no work in public universities.”
ASUU, Benin Zone, also on Monday pleaded with Nigerians to join the union in rescuing what it described as dying university system. The union’s Zonal Coordinator, Prof Fred Esumeh, in a press briefing at the ASUU Secretariat, University of Benin, Edo State, said the union called on well-meaning Nigerians to rise up and join it in repositioning the nation’s universities to a globally competitive level that would be able to produce the manpower required to jump-start the re-emergence of a country driven by technology.
He said, “We call on all well-meaning Nigerians, students, workers, civil society organisations to wake up and join ASUU to rescue the dying university system.
“It will help reposition the universities to be globally competitive and able to produce the manpower required to jump-start the re-emergence of the country.”
Also on Monday in Ibadan, ASUU flayed the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, over what it described as a reckless comment that the union is “mean and wicked for shutting down universities.”
ASUU chairman in the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, in a statement said lecturers in Nigeria had sacrificed their labour, sweat and health “only for parasites in government to come and destroy common heritage and collective patrimony.”
Akinwole said, “The Minister of State for Education represents one of the deceptive and insincere characters of the Buhari administration.
“It is a sign of acceptance of failure for a minister to admit that they have consistently been irresponsible by pleading with a union to bury the welfare of its members and not fight for infrastructure face-lift for the children of the masses and new salary for the welfare of her members.”
The ASUU boss, who challenged the minister to make public his salaries and allowances, also asked him to tell Nigerians how much he is being owed by government since he became minister.
Akinwole said lecturers have been considerate of the plight of the students and the society and this is why it has taken the union members’ show understanding with government owing her members 12 years of earned academic allowances and 13 years on old salary when the likes of ministers and cabinet members in the government enjoy periodic review of allowances and salaries.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.