By Charly Agwam – Bauchi
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has issued a warning of an impending indefinite strike if the federal government refuses to honour the agreement which led the body to suspend their industrial action last year.
ASUU Chairperson of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, made this known while speaking with some journalists at the Union’s Secretariat at the weekend.
He said that the protracted strike which they embarked on to press home their demands for the continuous survival of public university system in Nigeria was suspended in December after ASUU and the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on various issues, providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items on the list.
He however lamented that after seven months since the MoU was signed, the federal government has only addressed two out of the eight issues.
“The University Campuses are becoming restive across the length and breadth, as Academics are threatening to shut down activities once again. This is coming as a result of the failure of the FGN to implement many aspects of memorandum of Action (MoA) it willingly signed with ASUU that ended the last strike in December, 2020.
“Given the glaring and deliberate failure of government to honour the agreement it willingly signed with the Union, it is becoming obvious that industrial harmony is gradually being destroyed in the university campuses.
“Enough is enough. ASUU is fed up with deceptive antics of the federal government of Nigeria,” he said.
He mentioned some of the issues to include: Earned Academic Allowance, Funding for Revitalisation of Public Universities, Salary Shortfall, Proliferating of state Universities and Visitation Panel, Renegotiation, Replacement of the Integrated payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), withheld salaries and non-remitance of Checkoff dues.
“Only salary shortfall and visitation panels to federal universities have been addressed,” he added.
The ASUU Chief alleged that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) through the IPPIS office omitted some members in the payment of salaries while others experience serious salary amputation.
“Meanwhile the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) through the IPPIS office has continued to omit our members from payment of salaries while others experience serious salary amputation. We are convinced this is done in connivance with the University Administration.
“In the meantime, IPPIS appears to be the corruption headquarters of the Federal Civil Service, as exemplified by double payment of salaries to employees, payment of salaries to non-employees, over taxation, dubious amputation of salaries, etc.
“We therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to wake up the FGN from its slumber to avoid another disruption of academic activities on universities campuses across the nation. The atmosphere is already tensed and charged,” he appealed.