April 13, 2024

ASUU threatens fresh strike Tuesday

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has threatened a fresh strike over the Federal Government refusal to implement an agreement reached with the union.

The union, however, has given the FG an ultimatum that expires on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 to fulfil the terms of the agreement it reached with the union or risk a nationwide strike.

ASUU’s President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who said this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, added that the FG no longer picked its calls.

Recall that in March 2020, ASUU embarked on a strike following its disagreement with the FG over the funding of the universities and the ineffectiveness and discrepancies around the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System and others.

ASUU, however, developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution to replace IPPIS and had several meetings with the Ministries of Finance, Education, Labour and Employment, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation before it was approved but to be implemented.

Likewise, the FG and ASUU signed an agreement aimed at resolving some of the demands of ASUU, a development that led to the suspension of the strike on December 24, 2020.

In addition, after a meeting with the FG on August 2, 2021, Osodeke said the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency insisted that UTAS must be re-presented to the end users.

At the meeting also, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, assured ASUU that the N22bn earned allowance captured in the 2021 supplementary budget would soon be accessed by university workers.

On the contrary, Osodeke told one of our correspondents on Sunday that the FG had stopped reaching out to ASUU and had failed to implement the agreement reached.

Due to government’s silence over their demands, Osodeke said the union would not hesitate to embark on a fresh strike to protest government’s failure.

He said, “The government has refused to reach out to us. Government officials have stopped. In fact, they don’t take our calls again. Nigerians should tell the government to do what they agreed to do.

“We signed an agreement and even in May, we reached a final agreement; this is August, and nothing has been implemented. Does it make any sense? We are giving them till the end of August and after that, we start the procedures.”

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