Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) branch of ASUU has vowed to continue with the union’s national strike in spite of management’s directive to students to resume school.
Addressing newsmen on Friday in Keffi, the branch’s chairman, Dr Samuel Alu, described the management’s directive as a reckless one and a betrayal.
He vowed that the varsity’s lecturers would not be forced to return to the lecture theatres against their wish.
“The union is very much familiar with threats, blackmail and propaganda issued by certain quarters in respect to the struggle.
“Needless to say that we are conversant with and full of expectation of the antics to sabotage our struggle and are well prepared for it.
“For the avoidance of doubt, ASUU is one and the same.
As such, ASUU at NSUK cannot be seen to operate in isolation of other ASUU branches.
“It is operating in full compliance with directives of the national secretariat,’’ said.
Alu expressed dismay that the university’s management issued the directive knowing full well that ASUU had appealed against the ruling of the National Industrial Court asking its members to return to the lecture halls.
“In view of the aforementioned, forcing university lecturers to go back to class amounts to illegality and a blatant disregard for the rule of law which could be interpreted as a contempt of court.
“Reopening the university with ASUU still on strike means that the vice-chancellor and his lieutenants are the ones to teach the students,’’ Alu stressed.
He expressed appreciation of the understanding and resilience of students and parents, whom, he said, had been making sacrifices for the betterment of the future and to save the education sector from total collapse.
“As far as NSUK branch of ASUU is concerned, we are in a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike.
“I am reiterating here that ASUU NSUK branch will remain on strike until the national body suspends the strike when all demands of ASUU have been met by the Federal Government,’’ Alu said.
The university registrar, Mr Bala Ahmed, issued the statement asking students to resume school.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over to demand that the Federal Government meets agreements signed in 2009. The agreements covered the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, and the release of Earned Academic Allowances for lecturers.
It is also demanding that the Federal government should not be paying lecturers the same way it pays its other employees, using the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The union is demanding that rather than use the IPPIS, government should pay its members using the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) platform developed by the universities themselves.
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
Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to sheathe their swords so that students can return to their various public universities.
Uzodimma made the appeal on Wednesday, when he received members of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), who paid a working visit to him at Government House, Owerri.
The governor said that any sacrifice made on the parts of ASUU and the Federal Government to end the lecturers’ strike and achieve students’ return to class should not be seen as misplaced.
” I urge all parties in the saga to sheathe their swords and allow the sleeping dog lie so that our children can go back to class.
” What the leaders of Nigeria owe our future generation is to ensure that they are given the opportunity to acquire knowledge and be better citizens in future, and any sacrifice made in this regard will be worth the while”, he said.
Speaking on the lingering controversies surrounding land allocation in FUTO, the governor noted that he had investigated the issues in contention and noted that they could be resolved amicably.
He challenged the management of the University to “think out of the box” and see the institution as a business school capable of funding itself as a way of reducing reliance on federal allocation or subsidy.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of FUTO, Sen. Jack Tilley-Gyado, thanked the governor for his interventions in the lingering impasse.
He also thanked the governor for aiding FG’s approval of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri as a part of the Faculty of Medicine and Clinical Training of FUTO.
Tilley-Gyado said this was an indication of his commitment to education.
He appealed to the governor to help in settling the land boundary disagreement between the University and its host communities by issuing a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the FUTO lands to the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Nnenna Oti, was part of the 17-member Governing Council that paid the visit.
NAN) The National Industrial Court,on Tuesday struck out a suit filed by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to compel the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off the ongoing strike.
The judge, Justice Polycarp Hamman in the ruling terminated further proceedings in the matter after it was withdrawn by the claimant, Umar Lawal.
From facts, Lawal had filed the suit which was mentioned on Sept.16, for himself and on behalf of NANS against the Minister of Education, ASUU and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
However, when the matter slated for hearing came up on Tuesday, Lawal notified the court that he had filed a motion for discontinuance.
He added that he premised his decision to withdraw the suit on account of the challenge by NANS which contested his position as its president in the affidavit he had deposed to.
After Lawal submitted his application, the court asked if Marshal Abubakar, counsel to ASUU had any objection, he informed the court that he was not opposed to Lawal’s application to withdraw the suit.
The other defendants were however, had no legal representation in court.
Sanwo-Olu charges religious, traditional leaders on peace, justice L-R: Emeritus, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence; Etsu of Nupe, Alh. Yahaya Abubakar; President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and co-chairman of NIREC, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh; Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Sultan of Sokoto and co-chairman of NIREC, His Eminence Muhammad Abubakar; representative of the SGF, the Permanent Secretary, Office of SGF (General Duties), Dr. Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri; Shehu of Borno, Alh. Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi; Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero and Chairman, CAN Lagos state chapter, Bishop Stephen Adegbite during the third quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) with the theme “working together for Justice and Peace”, at the Lagos Continental Hotel, Victoria Island, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left) exchanging greetings with the SultanGov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday charged religious and traditional leaders to work together for unity, peace, justice in Nigeria.
Sanwo-Olu gave the charge during the third quarter meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religion Council (NIREC), with the theme: ”Working Together for Justice and Peace”, held at Victoria Island.
He said that promoting unity, peace, justice and tranquility in Nigeria would bring about a peaceful co-existence among the people.
”I believe with the case of NIREC that we have today and that we have seen consistently, this country will not be put to shame.
”I am hoping that the conversations, discussions and decisions at the NIREC meeting will further strengthen that thing that we all swore to; to ensure justice, peace and equity in this country.
”We are at a time this country needs all of us now more than ever before and so, we should not allow hate speech.
”We cannot afford ethnic bigotry.
We cannot afford to be divided.
We are going into elections; let us see the commitment and nationality in all of us,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that as a political leader, the only way not to fail the people was by ensuring good governance.
Speaking on the ongoing Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) strike and the union face-off with the Federal Government, Sanwo-Olu said that though none of the Lagos State-owned three universities were on strike, it was painful that students in other universities had been at home for seven months.
He appealed that ASUU should call off the strike and get the students back to school, as the academic union and the Federal Government should quickly resolve the lingering issue, in order not to compromise the future of the students.
Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that the meeting was a call to national duty, to take an active part in renewing troubled communities.
Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Dr Maurice Mbaeri, charged people, especially religious leaders to work for justice, peace.
He urged all to ensure fair play, so as to create the needed change for Nigerians to always live in unity and harmony.
”I want to charge everyone of us to work for peace that will endure and outlast us, by creating functional structure for generations unborn.
”This structure must have the capacity to be proactive in responding to emerging issues, while reinforcing a longer and larger change processes.
We cannot fold our hands when we see problems emerging,” the SGF said.
The Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Mohammed Abubakara, said that the role of religious leaders was to be just and fair to earn the trust of the people.
Abubakara, who is co-Chairman of NIREC, urged Muslims and Christians to come together to pursue peace and justice as they were inseparable.
He pleaded with ASUU to call off the ongoing strike, urging the Federal Government and academic union to find a common ground to resolve the conflict.
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Daniel Okoh, urged citizens to embrace peace, desist from hateful utterances, live in peaceful coexistence with one another.
Okoh, the co-chairman of NIREC, called on Nigerians to be accountable, elect leaders with capacities during the 2023 general elections and abhor tribal sentiments, among others vices.
In his speech, the Executive Secretary of NIREC, Mr Cornelius Omonokhua, said that the meeting was aimed at changing existing narratives to allow justice and peace to reign in Nigeria.
Omonokhua said that there was a need for mental re-engineering, change of values and attitudes, as well as radical emancipation to address the root of various calamities of national concerns.
Also speaking, the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, called on religious leaders to continue to preach peace and unity to bring about development in the country.
Prof. Ayoola Akinwole, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan chapter, says the union’s strike is total in spite of the Federal Government’s directive to Vice-Chancellors to reopen the nation’s universities.
Akinwole, reacting to the Federal Government’s directive on Monday in a statement, said that the government owns its universities and could decide when to close and open them.
According to him, the union never shut down universities, saying ASUU members will not be in classes, but will continue to do their researches and community services.
The ASUU chairman said that the union was on strike with its members withdrawing their services from teaching, supervising and holding statutory meetings in line with the ongoing strike.
“We remain committed to our resolve to prosecute the strike and our members have resolved not to be caged by tyrannical orders.
“As you know, we have appealed against the Industrial Court’s ruling.
“Our members will have nothing to do with teaching, supervision nor attend statutory meetings until our demands are met and the strike is suspended by the leadership of the union,” Akimwole said.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige says the newly Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework Report on Sustainable Development (INFF) will guide the country to mobilise financial support to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) four on quality education.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday inaugurated INFF at an event on the sidelines of the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
Through INFF strategy, countries take forward financing reforms to mobilise and align public and private financing with their national sustainable development priorities.
Ngige told newsmen in New York after the launch of INFF that the strategy would be aligned with the national plan to achieve quality education for the citizens.
“And you also know we have private sector involvement.
So, the private sector over here still can come and be part of the investments.
“Education as you know, is a mega framework in SDGs. So, expect that when this plan goes out effectively, it will also assist us,’’ he said.
According to him, the problem with the Nigerian education is education financing (funds).
Whether you’re talking about condition of service for lecturers, or you’re talking about infrastructure, development, classrooms, library, laboratory, equipment for teaching is funding.
“So, we need to have an articulated framework for our educational sector to benefit from proper funding.
’’ The minister said the TETFUND had been doing a lot on infrastructure, and research, and even human capacity development for the lecturers in all the tertiary level of education, but it’s not enough.
“So, we need to get private sector funding into it and part of what is happening here is that we can get such funds from partners to support the education sector,’’ he said.
On the benefit of INFF to labour and employment sector, he said it would help the sector to create more jobs and more employment.
He said it would help people get decent jobs, give them more robust labour relations between employer and employee so that we don’t have much of industrial action.
Speaking on lingering strike, he urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey court the National industrial Court ruling and call off its ongoing nationwide strike while negotiations are ongoing.
The court had on Wednesday ordered ASUU to call off its ongoing nationwide strike, pending the determination of a suit filed by the Federal Government.
According to him, the strike is detrimental to public university students who cannot afford to attend private tertiary institutions, and the Trade Dispute Act mandates workers not to embark on strike once an issue has been referred to the industrial court.
“The maximum in law is that when there is a court judgment or ruling or order you must first obey and then we can apply for an appeal if you so desire or apply for stay that is stay of execution.
“So, the maximum in law, jurisprudence and everything about the law, is that you obey the court’s ruling, judgment or order, no matter how bad.
’’ Ngige said the qualifying thing was that no matter how bad and no matter how they disagree with it, they should first obey, saying, like the military people say, obey before complain.
“So we expect them to get back to the classrooms but that doesn’t foreclose negotiations, the negotiations should be on as a matter of fact, it will be on officially and non officially.
“For example, the House of Representatives had invited us to come and brief them and together, they are stakeholders,’’ he said.
The minister said that Mr President said to the committee of Pro-Chancellors when they visited him, that he would do consultation.
He said the President had promised to do consultation as per the two request on putting an icing on the cake on the government offer to ASUU members and the issue of resettlement fund to cushion the effect of the “no work no pay” situation they found themselves in.
“So, we will interface with the House of Representatives and all of us collectively will advise Mr. President,’’ the minister said.
The Ilorin Emirate Medical Group (IEMG) on Saturday in Ilorin offered free medical treatment and drugs to more than 500 patients in Balogun Gambari area of Ilorin.
Speaking on the sidelines of the outreach, Prof. Ayisha Gobir, the President of the Group, explained that the outreach was part of the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
She noted that the medical consultations and drugs were part of the humanitarian and community engagement policy thrusts of the association.
“The outreach is taking place at Balogun Gambari area to honour our traditional institutions.
“We collaborated with various well meaning organisations; the Joint Balogun Gambari Development Association, individuals and organisations who supported our programmes.
“The outreach is focused on common illnesses that can cause death, including hypertension, diabetes, gastroenteritis and malaria among others,” she said.
Gobir, who teaches at the Faculty of Basic Medical Science of the University of Ilorin, said that many children also benefitted from the outreach as they were treated for some childhood diseases such as coughing and deworming.
Similarly, the don noted that the Association’s AGM included Career Counselling across some selected schools in Ilorin, so as to guide them of their choice of profession.
She observed that the ongoing ASUU strike would not prevent them from doing their community service, adding that even though they were not teaching for now, they engaged in research, publishing of papers and community service.
Also, Dr Abdullahi Ahmed, the Vice -Chairman of the group, observed that there were many Nigerians with various health challenges and could not access health care due to poverty.
He observed that such outreach was a means of reaching out to the indigents in the society where they were treated free of charge and at their doorsteps in their communities.
Ahmed who is also the Kwara Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), advocated that the only way to cater for the health of Nigerians was through the Health Insurance, while commending the Federal and State Governments for making it available for the indigents to access.
He explained further that the artisans and small job owners could access Health Insurance in Kwara for a token of N6,000 annually.
Also Dr Hafsat Ahmed, of the Department of Epidemiology of the University of Ilorin admonished Nigerians against self mediaction.
She urged Kwara residents and Nigerians at large to always visit hospitals before the consumption of drugs.
Ahmed, however, observed that some patients could not even afford N500 for consultation fee in hospital, while observing that the association felt the free community services such as this would certainly come to their aid.
Malam Mohammed Balogun, the President of the of Balogun Gambari Youth Movement, commemded the doctors for the selfless act for the needy and commitment to the community development.
The Vice Chancellor (VC), Salem University, Prof Alewo Johnson-Akubo, has called on the Federal Government to allow private universities to benefit from TETfund for the attainment of desired educational development in the country.
The Vice Chancellor, who made the call on Thursday in an interview with newsmen in Lokoja, described the call as “very germaine and necessary” to turn around the nation’s education system.
Johnson-Akubo said: “it’s bewailing why private universities are not part of the TETfund funding as the public universities, considering the important roles we are playing in education system.
” “No doubt, TETfund are ordinarily proceeds from what should be seen as a commonwealth, since we are all producing graduates that will serve the entity of the nation.
“I think it’s high time that such discrimination should stop.
This is because nobody will tell any graduate not to work in a particular office because is coming from a private university.
“Therefore, I am calling on government to see to it that private universities become as much beneficiaries of TETfund as public universities because we are all working towards the same purpose.
“In fact, if you asked me of the Universities that should benefit from TETfund, I will tell you it’s the private universities in terms of ranking.
“This is because funding private universities is like extracting water from flint rocks.
I have a privilege to head a private university and I understand the dynamics of finances, ” he said.
The VC noted that public universities had budgetary allocations, TETfund, other grants and all sorts of subventions yet, the private universities, which don’t have anything at all, are denied access to TETfund.
According to him, there is no reason the private universities should not be integrated into the scheme of things for the TETfund as soon as possible.
He said, “my clarion call to the Federal Government is to see to it that private universities, as one of the brightest hope of the nation’s university education, benefit from TETfund as soon as possible”.
The VC explained that Salem University “is that one institution where you bring to it your wards or children and in four years we return them to you finished products in every ramification and devoid of strike”.
On ASUU strike, the VC called on both government and union leadership to try, in the interest of parents and the loitering students, to see how they could shift grounds and come to some level of compromise.
Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, a human resource expert, has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the judgment of the National Industrial Court.
He also urged the union not to appeal the judgment and return to the classrooms in line with democratic process and as patriotic intellectuals.
Ibrahim, a Fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, made the appeal in a statement he issued in Abuja on Thursday.
He called on the Federal Government not to proceed further on the suit filed in the National Industrial Court but to withdraw the case.
According to him, government should also direct for the immediate payment of outstanding salaries of ASUU members for them to resume academic activities.
Ibrahim added that alternative dispute resolution mechanism could be used to resolve the lingering crisis.
“ASUU strike that has turned to national embarrassment, is avoidable if both parties had allowed patriotism to play dominant roles in the disagreement.
”He expressed satisfaction with the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari’s that he would hold more consultations in getting the ASUU crisis out of the way.
According to him, such a firm assurance gives a ray of hope that the crisis will soon be put behind us.
The human resource expert also appealed to the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as stakeholders to avoid complicating the issue by making inflammable statements and organising protests as the matter was about being brought under control.
“I’m appealing to ASUU to call-off the strike and resume classes.
”He expressed optimism that the Federal Government would no doubt pay their outstanding salaries from March to September this year so that academic activities could resume without any inhibition.
He also called for resumption of negotiations immediately the strike is called-off.
According to him, Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism approach is better than litigation, as litigation has its own way of slowing down actions.