Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on a rather long strike action over alleged non-implementation of agreement reached between it and the federal government.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Friday, leadership of the Ibadan zone of the union, led by its zonal coordinator, Professor Oyebamiji Oyegoke, called on Nigerians in all strata to intervene “at this critical moment before our members withdraw their services”.
The press interaction, which was on the sideline of celebration of the Human Rights Day on December 10, was used to press home full implementation of 2020 MoA agreement comprising (i) Funding for Revitalization of Public Universities
ii) Payment of Earned Academic Allowances
iii) Withheld Salaries and Promotion Arrears
iv) Renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement
(v) Inconsistencies in IPPIS Payment
(vi) University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS)
“Our base line is full implementation of 2020 MOA agreement freely signed between the federal government and the union. This calls for a lot of concern.
“There’s no commitment to agreement entered into. Government is not sensitive to welfare of workers. That’s why we’re using these channels to sensitize people so that they don’t see us as using strike as the only tool of fighting for our demands.
“While we comnend interventions of notable Nigerians in the matter, however, it should be stated here that it is about actions and not deliberations.
“These are no new demands. Some of our members have not been paid salary since December last year and they’re still working. It shows commitment on our part”, he said.
Professor Oyegoke, who accused the federal government of insincerity in fulfilling its part of the agreement, condemned piecemeal implementation of the contentious issues in the MoA of 2020.
“Selective treatment of issues in dispute instead of a comprehensive approach will no longer be acceptable to our members, We shall no longer take the issue of welfare of our members for granted. Any treatment of MoA of 2020 that precludes its full implementation and rejection of IPPIS will be incomplete.
“If it has taken ASUU’s position of resuming a suspended strike action to rouse government from its sleep of non-implementation of the MoA of 2020, one needs to ask, how many of such reminders should ASUU give before its demands are met?
“It is on the basis of the failure of government to meet up with the promises made as attested to in the MoA of 2020 that the union is calling on Nigerians to intervene at this critical moment.
“The demands of the union are realistic and holistic in the common interest of the country’s educational and developmental pursuits.
“If nothing is done, we will be left with no other choice than to withdraw our services until reason prevails.
“The government of the day has demonstrated its intention to embarrass our collective resolve to save university education from total collapse. ASUU cannot succumb to this insensitive disposition.
“As we celebrate the Human Rights Day today, December 10, we recall the declaration of 1948 which acknowledged the struggles of the oppressed people around the world. So we use this opportunity to ask Nigerian government to respect the rights of the people to education and decent working conditions.