By Adesina Wahab
ACADEMIC activities in the nation’s universities may be disrupted by the end of this month if the Federal Government is unable to implement the Memorandum of Action, MoA, it signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
Also, the government is expected to renegotiate the 2007 Agreement it entered into with the union. Giving the indications in a chat with Vanguard, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the union was waiting for the period of grace given the government to lapse before taking the necessary steps.
“As a responsible union, we are consulting widely on the issues at stake. We have an MoA that is yet to be implemented fully and we also have the renegotiation of the 2007 Agreement pending. A lot of groups and concerned individuals have stepped in to intervene in the matter.
“We are responsible unionists and citizens and we must give room to those interventions; may be they can help persuade the government to do the needful. We have given them up till the end of this January and if nothing is forthcoming, we can take the next step,” he said. It was gathered that if the union’s demands are not met, nationwide mobilisation of members would follow and congresses held to mandate the national leadership to act appropriately.
The MoA came into being following the suspension of a nine-month strike by the union in December 2020. The issues in contention include funding for the revitalisation of the universities and the payment of Earned Academic Allowance which the government has fulfilled.
However, the payment of withheld salaries and promotion arrears of members is still pending, while the proliferation of universities, especially by state governments, is yet to be addressed.
Another major area of disagreement between the government and the union is the use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System, IPPIS as the union says it does not fit into the university system. It has, therefore, come up with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS to replace IPPIS.