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ASUU extends strike by four weeks

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THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its nearly six-month-old strike by another month.

ASUU took the decision after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which ended in Abuja Monday morning.

In a statement released after the meeting, the union wondered why it took President Muhammadu Buhari five months before directing the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to address its demands.

The union also said it had not heard from Adamu even as the two weeks Buhari gave the minister to resolve the strike elapses on Tuesday.

The statement signed by the ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, and mailed to The ICIR, said the ongoing trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation Ahmed Idris, on allegations of “monumental fraud” vindicated its rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS). 

It called on the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to release reports of the latest tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) via-a-vis the IPPIS without further delay. 

The union vowed to resist any attempt by the government to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all available legitimate means.

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ASUU said it only asked the government to make the nation’s public universities globally competitive with its demands.

It also commended the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for standing by it through a two-day solidarity protest it embarked upon nationwide last week.

According to ASUU, the non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after Professor Nimi Briggs-led Committee concluded its assignment is further tasking the patience of its members nationwide.

The group argued that the country’s political leaders’ disposition towards the education sector had worsened the high level of insecurity in the country.

“The unceremonious closure of educational institutions in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following the recent attack on Presidential Guards, betrays a panicky measure to addressing a malignant ailment. 

“Nothing short of a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s security architecture will sustainably address the problem.”

It added: “Following extensive deliberations and taking cognisance of government’s past failures to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA), NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for four weeks to give government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues. 

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“The role-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, August 1 2022,” ASUU said.

Some of the union’s demands are:

  • Implementation of the 2009 agreement the Federal Government had with the union
  • Deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS)
  • Payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA)
  • Release of an agreed sum of money for revitalising public universities (federal and state)
  • Addressing proliferation and governance issues in state universities
  • Settling promotion arrears
  • Releasing withheld salaries of academics
  • Payment of outstanding third-party deductions.
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