The Federal Government has cautioned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over disobeying the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) to call off its ongoing strike.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, gave the advice in a statement signed by Mr Olajide Oshundun, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry on Sunday in Abuja.
“The union is dishonest and misleading its members and the general public, that it has filed an appeal as well has a stay of execution of the order of NICN on Sept. 2, though it has none of this.
“Rather, ASUU only filed an application for a permission to appeal the order.
It also attached to the application, a proposed notice of appeal which it intends to file if the leave to appeal is granted.
“The application for a stay of execution as of this moment has not even been listed for hearing.
Where then is ASUU coming from?
“It is therefore contemptuous, dishonest and misleading for the union to tell its members that it has not only appealed the interlocutory injunction by the NICN, directing it to call off strike and return to work, but that it also has a stay of execution,’’ he said.
Ngige therefore described the new directive by ASUU, exhorting its members to continue with the action as an unwarranted lawlessness, noting that “the Federal Government strongly frowns at this”.
The minister advised the striking lecturers to cease taking laws into its hands by directing its members to continue with the 8-month old strike.
According to him, this is in defiance of the interlocutory injunction by the NICN which restrained the union from further action.
He accused the leadership of the union of misinforming and misleading its members and warned of consequences of contempt of court order.
Ngige reiterated government call to the union to respect the court order and return to work, while negotiations are concluded on the remaining issues in contention.
The statement also denied reports that the minister walked out on the meeting between the House of Representatives and ASUU on Sept. 29. It said the minister left the meeting to attend to other pressing matters with the permission of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, after making his presentation.
It stated that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was earlier granted such permission by the Speaker.
The statement further recalled that at that meeting, Ngige addressed the two major issues over which ASUU is still on strike.
It said, according to the minister, “on renegotiation of salaries and wages of lecturers, I sympathise with ASUU just like other Nigerian workers.
“The economy is bad and hard time, biting hard on everybody.
ASUU deserves no blame.
“The Briggs Committee was the product of reconciliation of my ministry, which had to move to the ASUU’s direct employers – Ministry of Education for a Collective Bargaining Agreement, so we can arrive on what is good to be paid to ASUU, subject to approval by the President “The President has a Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages chaired by the Minister of Finance, with myself as co-chair and other members – National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Budget Office, etc.
“Every MDA, whether drawing from the treasury or not, must pass through this committee on any issue concerning salaries for approval, before transmission to the President.
The report of the Briggs Committee did not unfortunately pass this route.
” It said that Ngige also revealed that when the issue of payment platform – UTAS – came up, he persuaded the President to “give the platform a trial in the spirit of Executive Order 3 and 4, and the SGF supported me”.
“If the system is good, we adopt it for the whole country, but meanwhile the hardware is not there.
How do you do it?
“The test – the three of them – IPPIS, UTAS, UPPPS – have failed the test.
Do you recommend something that has failed a test?
So, no matter how I love ASUU, I won’t support something that failed a test.
The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), has accepted to accommodate the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) peculiarities allowances in the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information Payment System (IPPIS).Mr Okolieaboh Sylva, the acting Accountant General of the Federation, said this at a meeting of the union with the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, and the leadership of the House of Representatives on Thursday in Abuja.Sylva said that if there were peculiarities allowances in ASUU’s pay, what needed to be done was to incorporate them in the platform, adding that the office of the Accountant General was willing to incorporate ASUU’s peculiarities.“Let us sit down and know what these issues are and address them inside IPPIS.We can correct whatever mistake we make now, ” he said.Sylva expressed reservation over ASUU’s insistence for the incorporation of the UTAS payment platform for its members.“If we accept what ASUU is saying, it will create room for everyone to be asking for their own payment platform, the military is on IPPIS and health workers, ASUU should sit down with us and see the progress we have made,” he said.Sylva said that the incorporation of ASUU’s demand on IPPIS platform could be done without President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval, adding that there was nothing complicated about the issue once ASUU agreed to the offer.“In the spirit of reconciliation, if ASUU knows what can be done, we are willing to adopt it to resolve this issue.It doesn’t make sense not to accept, let ASUU come to us, we are willing to accept.“If we are going to adopt UTAS, that shows we are going to build the salaries of other civil servants to UTAS,” he said.Speaking, Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity said the federal government would not offer ASUU what it does not have.Ngige said that the ASUU leadership met with the President on Jan.9 with the hope of convincing government to adopt it UTAS platform for lecturers salaries.“I told Mr President to let us give it a trial and I took it upon myself, I went to NITDA and other agencies and we looked at the the system,” he said.He said that the three platforms brought by ASUU failed the integrity test, adding that he couldn’t recommend the adoption of any of them, no matter the pressure.Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President, ASUU said it was unfortunate that Nigerians failed to understand how the university system operate.Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila appealed to ASUU to call off its ongoing strike.He added that the executive had spoken, just as the the judiciary, and the legislature.“Everybody cannot be wrong.“We are working according to everything we said in our last meeting, please in the interest of our children , we have called you in spite of the court ruling,” he said..On the the issue of UTAS, Gbajabiamila said the report was with the lawmakers.“We are more or less working for you.There come a time all conflicts come to an end.We will make our recommendation to the President.“You have a very good case, the minister dropped a bombshell before he left but I didn’t pay attention.I understand your feeling and emotion.“You are not doing it for yourself but the enabling environment and the future of our children.Please let’s take it and get to the final destination,” he said.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Federal Government says it will meet with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) for adjudication on Monday over prolong strike.
Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, said this on Sunday in Abuja in a letter addressed to the Registrar of NICN, dated Sept. 8. Ngige said this in a statement signed by Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry and made available to newsmen.
He said the referral instrument had become necessary following the failure of dialogue between the union and the Federal Ministry of Education.
He added that the matter is billed for mention by 9 a.
m on Sept. 12. ”The Federal Government has asked the NICN to inquire into the legality or otherwise of the ongoing prolonged strike by ASUU leadership and members that had continued even after apprehension.
“It asked the court to interpret in its entirety the provisions of Section 18 LFN 2004, especially as it applies to the cessation of strike once a trade dispute is apprehended by the Minister of Labour and Employment and conciliation is ongoing,” he said.
He also said that the NICN are to interpret the provisions of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8. LFN 2004, titled “Special Provision with Respect to payment of wages during strikes and lock-outs”.
Ngige said this ”specifically dealing with the rights of during the period of any strike or lock-out.
”Can ASUU or any other union that embarked on strike be asking to be paid salaries even with clear provisions of the law.
“Determine whether ASUU members are entitled to emoluments or ‘strike pay’ during their period of strike, which commenced on Feb. 14. ”Moreso, in view of our national law as provided in Section 43 of the TDA and the International Labour Principles on the right to strike as well as the decisions of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association on the subject,” he said.
He added that NICN should determine whether ASUU had the right to embark on strike over disputes as is the case in this instance by compelling the Federal Government to employ its own University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) in the payment of the wages of its members as against the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
According to him, as this is universally used by the Federal Government in the nation for payment of wages of all her employees in the Federal Government Public Service of which university workers, including ASUU members, are part of.
”Or even where the government via NITDA subjected ASUU and their counterpart, Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll Systems (UPPPS) software to integrity test (vulnerability and stress test) and they failed,” he said.
Ngigi also said the federal government further asked the court to determine the extent of fulfillment of ASUU’s demands since the 2020 Memorandum of Action (MOA) that the union signed with government.
The minister said their demands include the funding for revitalisation of public universities as per 2009 agreement, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) payments, state universities proliferation and constitution of visitation panels, and release of white paper on the report of the visitation panels.
He noted that others are the reconstitution of the government renegotiation team for renegotiation of 2009 agreement, which was renegotiated 20132014, due for renegotiation 20182019, and the migration of ASUU members from IPPIS to its own UTAS, which is currently on test at NITDA.
”Consequently, the Federal Government requested for an order of the Court for ASUU members to resume work in their various universities while the issues in dispute are being addressed by the NICN in consonance with the provisions of Section 18 (I) (b) of the TDA Cap T8. LFN 2004,” he said.
As the nationwide strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) persists, private universities in Lagos have shared their experiences on students’ enrolment for the new academic session.
Recall that the union had, on Feb. 14, embarked on a one-month strike, making several demands on the Federal Government.
The union had gone on strike to protest the non-implementation of an agreement it signed with the Federal Government in 2009. It said the Federal Government had failed to release the revitalisation funds for public universities and refused to allow the use of the University Transparency Accountability System (UTAS) for their payment.
The striking lecturers want the UTAS for the payment of their salaries and allowances, rather than the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) used by the Federal Government in paying its workers.
They are also unhappy with the inability of government to produce the white paper report on the visitation panel to universities, among other issues.
ASUU rolled over the one-month strike several times until its National Executive Committee (NEC), on Aug. 29, resolved to turn it to a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike.
It claimed that despite dialogue with the Federal Government, most of the demands of the union still remained unattended to.
Dr Elvis Otobo, Deputy Director, Public Relations and Marketing, Caleb University Imota in Ikorodu, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the now indefinite strike was worrisome.
On how the strike had impacted enrolment in the private university, he told NAN that over the years, the institution had been recording considerable enrolment.
He said that this was in line with its mandate of teaching, research and community service.
“I will say that the whole issue about strike in the public universities is unfortunate.
“However, we have been on top of our game in terms of deliberate upgrade of infrastructure, moral and academic excellence.
“Coming to enrolment, I will say yes, there is an increase, but I really will not want to attribute that solely the the prolonged ASUU strike.
“We have built capacity, developed infrastructure and have been holding our own not just in Nigeria, but globally.
“Right now, I may not be able to give you the statistics of enrolment, but I think it is quite commendable,” Otobo said.
Mr Samuel Ighalo, Strategy and Communications, Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos, on his par, said they had over 100 prospective applicants already and were eagerly waiting for them to begin.
Ighalo said that admission for the new session just started last month and the applicants so far received were across all programmes, while admission was still ongoing.
“The programmes include law, nursing, architecture, medical lab science, public health and environmental management, and toxicology.
“About 160 applicants applied last session, while this year, 100 have applied so far, with admission still ongoing.
“Our new session will kick off this September ending, but generally, the strike is also helping us to get new applicants,” he said.
Efforts to get the enrolment pattern in other private universities in the state were unsuccessful.
NAN reports that fees in public universities are generally low, when compared to that of private ones.
Meanwhile, the state-owned Lagos State University(LASU), Ojo, on Monday matriculated 6,377 students for the 20212022 Academic Session.
Two other newly-created state-owned universities, Lagos State University of Science and Technology, and the State University of Education are also unaffected by the strike.
The Federal Government, on Tuesday, in Abuja, met with Vice Chancellors and Pro-Chancellors of federal universities toward ending the protracted ASUU strike, which is nearing seven months.
At the end of the meeting, the Federal Government again set up a 14-man committee to look into the grey areas of the ASUU demands.
Mr Ben Goong, the Spokesperson of the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu disclosed this at a press conference at the end of the meeting.
“After enormous two-hours deliberations, the meeting constituted a committee made up of four Pro-Chancellors, five Vice Chancellors and others, to be chaired by the minister of education to further look at the grey areas ASUU is demanding, particularly the areas where there has been no consensus.
“As I speak to you, that committee is meeting and they will proceed to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the outcome of the deliberations of that committee.
“Two basic areas that the committee will be looking at is the ‘no work no pay’ issue and the issue of remuneration of university lecturers,” he said.
On the demand of ASUU to use the UTAS, Goong explained that it was not part of the areas under consideration as government had already set up a committee to fine-tune the two payment platforms including the existing IPPIS.
He said that in few days’ time, the committee would conclude and thereafter meet with President Muhammad Buhari Meanwhile, students affected by the strike in public universities have also continued to lament the unending industrial action by the lecturers and deadlock in talks with government.
Olaseun Ajiboye,100 level Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), said he barely started her first year in school when the disruption started.
He said it was not a good feeling, being at home without knowing when they would resume.
Ajiboye said that he waited for two years before getting the admission and ASUU and federal government decided to add more to the years of waiting.
“This isn’t the best position to be in at all, because, no classes or school activities, and I feel like I’m missing out on university life,” he said.
Olalekan Amusan, 400 level student of Mechanical Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH),Ogbomoso, appealed to ASUU to reconsider the students’ delay in education advancements.
“My friends in private universities have left me behind ,we might even stay longer in schooI because we do not know when the strike will be over,” he said Adedoyin Ishola, 400 level student of Philosophy,Federal University of Technology Akure(FUTA) said the indefinite ASUU strike was depressing.
Ishola said that she was in her final year, about to defend her project, when the union announced the strike.
“ASUU turned my four years to seven years, when I’m not studying medicine; I am currently learning graphics designing.
“I pray God will touch both ASUU and Federal Government’s hearts,” she said.
Some stakeholders have continued to react to the pulling out of some state universities from the ongoing indefinite strike by ASUU, saying they pulled out due to threats from their employers.
They made this known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that some state universities such as the Kaduna State University, (KASU), Ekiti State University (EKSU) and the Nasarawa State University, Keffi have pulled out of the ongoing indefinite strike actions by ASUU.
While other state universities refused to join the nationwide strike, they include Osun, Rivers, Delta, Borno, Anambra, Kwara, Akwa Ibom states and the three universities owned by Lagos State.
Dr Oluremi Oni, a lecturer in the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) said that the pulling out by state universities from the strike would not in any way affect the structure of the union.
Oni, who blamed ASUU for bringing state universities into the issues affecting federal universities, said their pulling out was actually proper.
According to her, no matter how many state universities that pulled out of the struggle, this will not affect our collective desire to protect the country’s educational system.
“Government has shown that they don’t like ASUU; when a similar thing happened last year, ASUU gave the government the presentation and they picked the one they could honour and threw it back at ASUU and ASUU was okay with them at that time.
“So it was because of government’s inability to implement the agreement last year that made ASUU to go back to strike.
“Government did not implement what it promised us and now they are expanding the problem and the public does not even know what the problem is and everybody is blaming ASUU,” she said.
Oni expressed concern over the action of government’s intention to extend the meeting with the union till June 2023, saying that this showed lack of commitment to education.
On the ‘no work, no pay’ stands by the government on ASUU, she blamed the government on this approach, saying that the union took the decision on behalf of the generality of Nigerian children to have quality education not minding the fact that their children were also affected.
“The government has forgotten that ASUU members also have children in these universities and so members are also losing.
’’ The Secretary, Workers and Youths Solidarity Network (WYSN), Mr Damilola Owot called on the leadership of ASUU to re-emphasise the benefits of the strike to state workers with a view to giving them reasons to maintain the tempo and not to relax.
According to him, ASUU should pay special attention to specific needs of the state universities too and incorporate them into their future demands.
“We extend our solidarity to the members of the ASUU who are currently on strike.
“The decision of some state universities to pull out of ASUU could largely be linked to threats from their respective employers – state governments.
“The demands are clear and vivid; honour agreements, pay salary arrears and adopt UTAS.
“We believe that both the State and Federal workers stand to benefit from the concessions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), Dr Niyi Sunmonu insisted that the liberalisation of academic unions was the only way out to end incessant strikes in universities.
Sunmonu said the liberalisation would engender cross-fertilisation of ideas, nurture healthy competition and protect the interests of all stakeholders hence there would be no need for strike.
“Freedom of association is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And as long as that provision still exists in the constitution, Nigerian citizens are freeborn and they can operate under it to freely associate.
“We hope that the freedom of association will continue to help the advancement of learning in our universities,” he said.
Also, the former National President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr Sunday Asefon had previously called on state-owned universities to opt out of the action.
Asefon said that ASUU had lost the support of Nigerian students given the unpatriotic disposition displayed by them in extending their strike indefinitely.
Asefon said students would no longer support the union’s call for intervention, while accusing the body of being self-serving.
“We have taken the time to review the decision of ASUU to declare an indefinite strike after the ongoing six-month strike.
“We consider the decision as not only unpatriotic, unnecessary but wicked and definitely not in the interest of our nation or the tertiary education system in Nigeria.
“We call on state governments to forthwith liaise with Vice-Chancellors of state institutions to announce the resumption of academic activities and grant the vice-chancellors authority to enforce the resumption.
“State universities should never have joined the strike in the first place,” he said.
ASUU may have again extended its strike on Monday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The decision to again extend the strike for the fourth time was taken after the union’s National Executive Council met at its headquarters at the University of Abuja.
The union embarked on the strike on Feb. 14 demanding for a renegotiation of agreements reached between it and the government in 2009. It is also demanding that government should shelve the payment of members’ salaries using its Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) through which it pays its employees.
ASUU is asking government to instead adopt the union’s payment platform option, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Goong, told newsmen that government had taken all possible steps to end the strike.
“Government has already inaugurated a committee to harmonise the IPPIS, UTAS, and UP3, a salary payment platform introduced by another union within the university system.
“This will ensure that the government will pay with only one payment platform that will harmonise all the technical peculiarities.
“If you bring some demands and almost 80 per cent have been attended to, there is no need to drag the strike anymore.
“It is unreasonable for the strike to be lingering seeing that government has worked toward meeting most of the demands,’’ Goong said.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia has described the Federal Government’s Consolidated Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) as “unilateral”, hence unacceptable.
The group’s position is contained in a statement jointly issued by the Chairman and Secretary of the union, Michael Ugwuene and Paul Nwiyi, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Umuahia on Saturday.
The statement is entitled, “Failure of Government: Collective bargaining agreement is the way forward.
” It stated that CONUASS awarded increases of 35 per cent and 25 per cent of current salaries to Professors at bar, and other ranks, respectively.
It argued that the review was prepared by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and presented to the Prof. Nimi-Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee, without inputs from ASUU.
“The crux of this matter is that the award is unilateral and a total breach of the provisions of all national and international legislations on which the Collective Bargaining Agreement is based,” the group stated.
It stated that the renegotiation process ought to have inputs of both government and ASUU teams as required by Trade Dispute Act of 1976; ILO Conventions 49 of 1948, amongst others.
“A negotiated salary, needless to say, affords industrial harmony because the worker has made an input.
“A negotiated salary is a right, an awarded salary is potentially arbitrary and is just that: an award,” the statement added.
It further stated that none of the issues that precipitated the six-month old strike, including salary, had been squarely addressed.
“Not even the issues that have no financial implications, like a commitment to adopt UTAS and the release of the Visitation Panel White Paper to the respective universities,” it added.
The group frowned at the committee’s resolve to push the payment of the Earned Academic Allowances to the individual universities.
It further expressed concern that rather than apply for a supplementary budget for its N170 billion revitalisation pledge, the Federal Government decided to shift the fund to the 2023 budget.
The union, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians to appeal to the government to quickly resume and conclude the ongoing re-negotiation “to enable our students go back to campuses.
Kaduna State University (KASU) said ASUU’s alleged description of the university staff as “quacks” was enough reason for its academic staff to pull out of the Union.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the National President of ASUU, Prof. Victor Osodeke, on Aug. 26, was reported to have referred to some state-owned varsities in Nigeria, including KASU as quacks.
A statement signed by KASU PRO, Adamu Bargo for the Acting Vice Chancellor in Kaduna, described the statement as “irresponsible, unguarded, misleading and derogatory”.
He said resuming academic activities, as their good conscience in KASU dictated, would never have been a reason for the institution to be insulted and stereotyped.
Bargo explained ‘quack’ as meaning a person who dishonestly claimed to have knowledge and skill in some field with little or no foundation.
He noted that for the benefit of hindsight, KASU as a new generation University and the second most-sought state-owned University and the fastest growing in Nigeria, was established 18 years ago with eminent scholars like Prof. Idris Abdulkadir and Prof. Abubakar Rasheed as the pioneer Council members.
“The made sure appointments of qualified lecturers were never compromised and the foundation, ethical determination to sustain same remained the basic principle of engaging academic and non-academic staff,” he said.
Bargo said that KASU was recognised by NUC as a standard University and had some of the best brains competing favourably with their counterparts around the globe.
“The world number four best polymer chemist is in KASU and our lecturers have attracted grants both locally and internationally and are highly rated.
“KASU graduates are rated among the best in the world and enjoying scholarships from different parts of the country and the globe.
“KASU has members in ASUU, and it is unfortunate if the union’s President is saying that they are quacks, while enjoying monthly check-off fees from their salaries.
“Does this not give good reason for every reasonable academic staff in the University to pull off from the Union for this labeling and stereotyping?
” Bargo expressed discontent, saying that the highest stage of irresponsibility was insulting fellow colleagues in the academia.
He noted that leadership in the academia way about mutual respect and mentoring while also living by good example.
He asked why the ASUU President failed mentioning Ambrose Alli University as quack where he came from, which had also pulled out from the strike long before KASU management decided to resume academic activities, in spite of the strike.
Bargo restated the claims ASUU went on strike to be rejecting IPPIS for UTAS, noting that KASU had nothing to do with how other employees were paid in a country where education is in the concurrent list.
He said release of funds to revitalise the infrastructure of the universities, which was also a reason for ASUU strike, was being determined by the economy and income of government and not by any strike.
“Also, release of the White Paper on Visitation Panels, has nothing to do with state universities and KASU should not stunt its progress in a protracted strike that is becoming unreasonably insensitive.
“When ASUU in KASU joined the strike in 2019 and government paid the 40 per cent salary for work done for the month, ASUU National did virtually nothing positive beyond ranting for the outstanding 60 per cent which had not been paid till date,” Bargo said.
He called on academic staff on strike in KASU to reason and be more concerned with their university and people than the attitude of their leaders that labeled them as quacks.
The Council of Student’s Union Presidents (CSUP) says that it is losing students to incessant killings from bandits attacks as a result of their prolonged stay at home due to the ASUU strike.The Student Union President (SUG), Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, Mr. Ishaka Yahaya spoke on behalf of all SUG presidents across tertiary institutions at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.Yahaya said that many students who were to be in school but resorted to doing other jobs were being kidnapped and killed in the process.He appealed to the government to look into the demands of ASUU and attend to them so that they could return to school.“It is true when they say when two elephants meet; only the grass suffers.“It is quite obvious here that both the Federal Government and ASUU have nothing to lose in this fight.“This is because while the strike is ongoing, the salaries of Federal Government staff keep flowing and at the end of every strike, nothing stops the salaries of ASUU members from also flowing.“The only most unfortunate and innocent victim here you would agree with us are the Nigerian students, who have everything to lose.” Even when the strike would have been called off, so many of the students will not be able to serve the nation due to age limit.“So many students after graduation would not be able to get government jobs due to age limit consideration,” he said.Yahaya said that the strike had increased the rate of drug abuses, prostitution, and thuggery amongst other corresponding wantonness and purposelessness by the Nigerian students who under normal circumstances should be in school acquiring knowledge.He said that the Nigerian students and campuses had been exposed to insecurities.and as such students had now become daily victims of kidnapping by the bandits.He said that the CSUP had written to the Ministry of Education, issuing a seven days ultimatum to reach an amicable resolution with their counterparts – ASUU.He said that failure to do so would lead to the mobilization of students across the country in a mass peaceful demonstration to end the strike.” We hereby appeal to the Federal Government to meet the demands of ASUU within the shortest period of time as failure to do so would leave us with no option but to go ahead with our peaceful demonstration even amidst this security instability.” For it is better to die for something than to live for nothing.” Also, the SUG president of the university of Jos, Mr. Danladi Adankala, recalled an incident that happened to a 500-level student of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho who was kidnapped and murdered after paying the ransom.” In LAUTECH yesterday, a 500-level Rachael Opadele of the Department of Fine Art was murdered.” She was supposed to be in school finalizing her education but because of the ASUU strike, she opted to work in a hotel where she was kidnapped and killed after paying the ransom.” This is one of the many we know.Students can also be killed during a protest, so it is essential for the government to meet the demands of ASUU so that students can return to school,” he said.In the same vein, the SUG President, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Mr. Naajim Gbefwi called on the government to prioritize education in the interest of Nigerian students.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that ASUU had been on strike since February demanding the adoption of UTAS against IPPIS, funds for therevitalization of public universities.Others are refusing to honor the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU, among others.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its roll-over strike by another four weeks to give government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.
The President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Osodeke said that the roll-over strike action would take effect from 12:01 a.
m. on Aug. 1. He said that the decision was reached at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of the union held at the Comrade Festus lyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, on July 31. He said that the meeting was called to review developments since NEC’s resolution to extend its roll-over strike action by another 12 weeks, effective from May 9. “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 Dec. 23, 2020. “Specifically, NEC recalled that government’s failure to conclude the process of renegotiating the 2009 Agreement, deploy the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and pay outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
“Also government failed to release agreed sum of money for the revitalisation of public universities (Federal and States), address proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, settle promotion arrears, and release withheld salaries of academics.
“Also in the agreement is failure to pay outstanding third-party deductions led to the initial declaration of the roll-over strike on Feb. 14, 2022,” he said.
According to him, NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by the President 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.
Osodeke, however, expressed worry 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.
“NEC appreciated the historic nationwide protest of July 26th and 27th organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in collaboration with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to further create awareness on the antics of the Nigerian ruling class to destroy public education.
“ASUU renews its commitment to the struggles of NLC in championing the cause of the working and suffering Nigerians.
“NEC observed that non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by Prof. Nimi Briggs-led Committee is further tasking the patience of ASUU members nationwide,” the statement read in part.
The president also said that the on-going trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, on allegation of fraud had vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS).
According to him, 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-a-vis IPPIS without further delay.
He, therefore, said that the ASUU would resist any attempt to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all legitimate means available to the union.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the union had been on strike since Feb. 14, over alleged refusal of the government to keep to agreement entered with the union.
The union demands included implementation of the 2009 renegotiation Agreement, deployment of UTAS, payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), promotion arrears, and release withheld salaries of academics.