Less than 24 hours after the Federal Government announced the reopening of tertiary institutions and Unity Colleges, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the decision will only be fruitful if their demands are met ahead of the resumption date.
The National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi reminded the Federal Government and parents that lecturers in public universities are still on strike over the unmet demands.
Reacting to reopening of universities, Prof Ogunyemi told Saturday Sun that “we did not close the universities. It is the right of the government to reopen the universities. It is also the right of lecturers to withhold their services.”
He said among the demands are the re-negotiation of 2009 FNG/ASUU agreement, outstanding Earned Academic Allowances, visitation panels to federal universities, proliferation of state universities and revitalization fund for universities.
Ogunyemi disclosed that the union has consistently battle government to provide funds to revamp the existing universities to make it compete with other top universities in the World.
Speaking specifically on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), Ogunyemi said the platform has failed to address what the Federal Government hope it will solve, stating rather, it has created another avenue for government officials to milk the country.
According to him, based on forceful enrollment of lecturers into IPPIS without their knowledge and consent, many members are owed between three to eight months salaries.
“The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige told Nigerians that the Federal Government have been paying salaries to university lecturers. Do you know that there are some of our members who have not been paid since February 2020. IPPIS is not capable to address the dynamics of salary payment in the university system.”
He also denied the minister’s claim that ASUU has been invited to come and demonstrate on the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS) for stakeholders in the universities, adding “he has not even acknowledged our letter dated August 19. We got a letter on September 30.”
Prof Ogunyemi asked students and parents to exercise patient with the union as the current strike is meant to improve the system.
He further asked the Federal Government to explain to Nigerians how it expect lecturers that have not been paid for three to eight months to return to the classrooms.”