By Gabriel Dike, Lagos and Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced an extension of its ongoing nationwide strike by four weeks.
The decision was taken by the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Sunday, July 31st at ASUU National Secretariat.
NEC said the four weeks roll-over strike, starts from Monday, August 1st, 2022.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in a statement on Monday, indicated that the decision was taken at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) held in Abuja, on Sunday.
He said the NEC meeting was convened against the backdrop of government’s obligations as spelt out in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with ASUU on 23rd December 2020.
He said: “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,”
He confirmed that the NEC had 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, and wondered why it had taken five months and needless muscle-flexing for government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement.”
He said that 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, insisting that Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper, and our scholars must be incentivised to stay back and work in Nigeria.
He extended the appreciation of ASUU to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) for their solidarity nationwide protest held last week with the aim of creating awareness on the antics of the Nigerian ruling class to destroy public education.
He renewed that commitment of ASUU to the struggles of NLC in championing the cause of the working and suffering Nigerians.
Prof. Osodeke, however, said that the ongoing 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).
He, thus, enjoined 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, insisting that ASUU will resist any attempt to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all legitimate means available to the Union.