Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its ongoing industrial action across public institutions in the country by another four weeks.
According to the academic staff union of public universities body, the decision followed the resolution by its National Executive Committee (NEC) during its just-concluded meeting to allow the Federal Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all outstanding issues.
ASUU also disclosed that its roll-over strike will take effect from 12 midnight of Monday, August 1, thuis year.
President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke made this known in a statement issued after the Union’s meeting held to review developments after 5months into the industrial action which has put teaching and learning on hold in public universities.
“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), the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, has rolled over it ongoing strike for another four weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all outstanding issues.” Prof. Osodeke said.
At the meeting the NEC of ASUU 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.
The Union added that it viewed recent directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari and Visitor 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 wonders why it had taken five full months.
“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 further observed that the on-going trial of the suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, on allegation of monumental fraud has vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS).
It however called upon the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) 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.
“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 23rd December 2020.
“Specifically, NEC recalled that government’s failure to conclude the process of renegotiating the 2009 FGN/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 14th February, 2022.”