The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it will have no any other choice than to embark on another nationwide strike over federal government refusal to implement the agreement it signed with the union last year.
Comrade Raphael Amokaha, the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU-Nsukka Zone disclosed this while addressing Journalists at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN).
He said that the union was being compelled to resume the suspended industrial action following government tactical delay to honour and implement agreement reached with the union which led to the suspension of ASUU industrial action last year.
“ASUU is no longer comfortable with government delay tactics in implementing agreements they reached with us last year that led to the suspension of the unions strike December last year.
“The union is being compelled to return to industrial action which will not augur well for the country’s education system.
“ASUU will be left with no option than to reactivate the suspended industrial action since government is not ready to do the needful.
“This time around we are not going to give government notice again because the union has fulfilled industrial Court requirements to embark on strike, as our ultimatum to government ended on August 31 and one week grace has also expired so the union is allowed by law to embark on strike now,” he said.
The coordinator listed some of the pending and contentious issues from the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of December, 2020, between the union and FG to include; University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and Promotion Arrears, Earned Academic Allowance, funding for revitalization of public universities, Renegotiation of 2009 agreement, among others.
“What FG is doing is delay tactics, but it is regrettable that the present government and indeed the previous Nigerian government at all levels has failed to realise that a knowledge-based economy is key to economic diversification and process in all ramification.
“it is tragic that successive Nigeria government by their action or inaction do not consider education as a key to technological advancements economic turnaround and national building.
“it is unfair that the union had use strike to fight for commencement of negotiation of our agreements, fight for negotiation to take place, fight for conclusion and the signing of agreements and finally fight for the implementation of agreements,” he said.
Amokaha noted further that a speedy conclusion and signing of the draft agreement is expected to enhance industrial harmony in public university system, create an enabling environment for improved academic activities and competitive research.
“ASUU-Nsukka zone, hereby, calls on FG of Nigeria to expedite action on the signing not the draft agreement of May 2021 that has been negotiated through a collective bargaining process.
“We call on government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Education and Finance to accord the demands, contribution and sacrifice of our union the attention required of patriots,” he said.
All representatives of universities under ASUU Nsukka Zone were present during the briefing, they are: Benue State University (BSU), Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Federal University Wukari and UNN.