BY HENRY TYOHEMBA, Abuja
Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), Abuja zone has insisted it will not back down with the ongoing strike until government implements the agreements signed with the union.
The zone, comprising Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Federal University of Lagos and the University of Abuja stated this in Abuja yesterday, while briefing journalists on the ongoing strike.
Professor Theophilus Lagi, Chairman of the zone stressed that the Union declared a total, comprehensive and Indefinite strike action to compel federal government to implement the MoA of 7th February, 2019, and other issues which include Renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, Revitalization fund to public universities, Earned Academic Allowance, Visitation Panel to public universities and proliferation of state universities and governance Issues in them.
He said, “Instead of addressing the core issues of the illegal withholding of salaries of Nigerian academics, payment of the outstanding EAA and mainstreaming of same into salaries, release of revitalization fund to public universities, constituting visitation panels to public universities, among others, the FGN through the Ministers of Labour and Finance has made an extraneous item-IPPIS the precondition for lecturers’ resumption of duty thereby procrastinating return of our students to campuses.
“So, Nigerians should blame the federal government not ASUU for the continued closure of public universities after the lockdown had been eased.”
The zone also stressed that the issue of IPPIS which has become the borne of contention is only being deployed by government as a ploy to divert attention from government’s wanton neglect of the education sector in general and Nigerian University System in particular.
“What economic sense does the government’s insistence of our members’ enrolment in IPPIS make? Recall that government in March this year said it accepted UTAS in principle and challenged our union to develop it as alternative to IPPIS which is obviously not designed for the university hence its myriad of problems. This proposal is illogical and ASUU rejects it on the grounds that it is not cost effective and contradicts the universities miscellaneous act of 2003 as amended,” he noted.
He reiterated that its members nationwide will not resume work until their demands are met, saying that UTAS is still a better option as it allows universities to adapt to the fluidity in nature, type and period of recruitment of staff; and facilities storage and automated retrieval of personnel records for effective monitoring.
“This is why UTAS, developed through members meagre resources, is better suited to the university system,” he added.
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