The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it will commence another indefinite strike action this year over the Federal Government’s alleged failure to resolve crisis in the education sector.
ASUU said the government has refused to match its words with action, hence the union’s decision to embark on an indefinite strike.
The Union announced this in a statement released on Friday, which was signed by the Chairman of ASUU, University of Jos branch, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro.
“We are tired of their deceit and IT IS TIME FOR US TO ACT. We want to inform Nigerians, that we are tired of fruitless meetings with the Minister of Labour, NUC Executive Secretary, Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NITDA, and the Chief of Staff to the President. If they ever want us to listen to them, they should first of all act on the promises they have already made.
“In the meantime, we are resolved to proceed on an indefinite and comprehensive strike until fidelity returns to our relationship with the government and our demands are met. We are tired of the back and forth,” the union declared.
ASUU recalled how it engaged in meetings with the federal government over the past year which have yielded little or no result.
“In the last one year, our Union has been engaged with the federal government and its officials over demands which, if met, would lift the standard of our battered tertiary institutions, especially the universities.
“The undisputed crisis in our educational sector has met, as with other consequences, nothing but the same response. Our union states very clearly that we appreciate the interest demonstrated by the Nigerian Inter-religion Council with a view to resolving the current impasse,” the union said.
Feb 2, 2022
The union said the numerous meetings with the Federal Government have failed to calm their members down, adding that the pattern of response of the government is that of a serial promise-breaker.
“From historical experience, we can conclude that NIRECs efforts with agents of government will be more prone to bringing further pain and anguish to the system. This will surely be the case if NIREC’s intervention ends with a palliative solution. This will lead to another phase of the same crisis.
“For the avoidance of doubt, our Union ASUU, has had several meetings with the Minister of Labour, Officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, the NUC, and NITDA and, very recently with the Chief of Staff to the President. All these meetings have not calmed our members as the following issues still remain unresolved. The recent comments by the spokesman to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina that government will keep to the promises, rings very hollow to us. The government’s pattern of response to the issues is that of a serial promise-breaker,” the union said.
It added that the continued defence of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the government against the union’s University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for payment of lecturer’s salaries is “shameful”. The union cited that a 2021 report submitted to the National Assembly by the Auditor General of the Federation, indicated that there was fraud in the implementation of the IPPIS.
ASUU’s last strike lasted from March 2020 till December 2020, with both parties (ASUU and the FG) reaching an agreement which led to the suspension of the strike on December 24, 2020.
Some of the issues that led to the previous strike bordered on FG’s alleged failure to revitalise universities, payEarned Academic Allowances (EAA), renegotiate their 2009 agreement, and constitute visitation panels for universities, among others.
The union also proposed the use of the UTAS platform for payment of lecturers’ salaries in place of the controversial IPPIS being used for civil servants.
After a meeting with the FG earlier in December 2020, ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, said the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) insisted that UTAS must be re-presented to the end users.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had also assured ASUU that the N22 billion earned allowance captured in the 2021 supplementary budget would soon be accessed by university workers at that meeting.
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