The Academic Staff Union of Universities has threatened to resume the industrial action it suspended since December 2020 over the Federal Government’s alleged failure to honour many of the agreements it signed with the Union.
The Chairperson, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, stated this while speaking with select journalists at the Union’s Secretariat.
He said the protracted strike, which was to press home their demands for the continuous survival of public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the various issues providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items.
Inuwa, who said that over seven months after the MoU was signed, only two out of the eight issues have been addressed, listed some of the issues to include Earned Academic Allowance, Funding for revitalisation of public universities, Salary shortfall, Proliferation of state universities and Visitation Panel.
Others, he added, are Renegotiation, Replacement of the Integrated payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of Check-off Dues but “only salary shortfall and visitation panels to federal universities have been addressed.”
He said, “Renegotiation of the 2009 agreement which would have been completed within eight weeks from the date of inauguration of the committee has up till now not been concluded, even though the Committee was inaugurated since December 2020.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria willingly agreed that the UTAS will replace the IPPIS as a payment platform in Federal Universities after it passed an integrity test. However, soon after the agreement, agents of the FGN are doing everything possible to frustrate the coming of UTAS onboard.
“Meanwhile the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation through the IPPIS office have 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 through the distortion of our members’ personal details.
“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.”
Inuwa stated that the body language of the federal government on the proliferation of State Universities shows that they are not willing to put a stop to it stressing that instead, the federal government itself has joined in the Proliferation of Universities ignoring the obvious challenges of funding.
He further stated that it is obvious to the Union that the OAGF is deliberately omitting its members from payment of Salaries and withholding check off dues as a ploy for victimization and coercion to enroll ASUU members into IPPIs.
“This plague,” he said, “has been evident across all Federal Universities in Nigeria since February, 2020. This to us is an outright act of ingratitude on the part of the Government for the sacrifices members of ASUU are making in order to establish a progressive nation. A clear case of punishing citizens for being patriotic.”
Inuwa declared that “Enough is enough. ASUU is fed up with deceptive antics of the federal government of Nigeria.
“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 the memorandum of Action 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.
“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” adding that “the atmosphere is tensed and charged.”
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Why Wike Must Apologise To Amaechi -HURIWA
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has told the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike to apologise to his predecessor and former boss, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.
HURIWA said Wike should apologise to the former Minister of Transportation for what it described as needless political war of vendetta to Amaechi, who entrusted key offices to him whilst he (Amaechi) served as Governor.
On September 14, 2015, Wike had vowed to implement the recommendations of the judicial commission of inquiry probing the sale of the State’s valued assets by the Amaechi administration.
Also, the Justice George Omereji seven-man commission of inquiry concluded its proceeding on the matter over the weekend, warning that the former Minister and some members of his administration who shunned the panel should be prepared to bear the consequences of their action.
HURIWA accused the Commission of reaching predetermined conclusions and indicting Amaechi without hearing his own side of the story.
In a statement by its national Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko,, HURIWA said it thinks “the politically motivated witch-hunt using certain forces in the judiciary against Amaechi is the source of the current political troubles and ‘karma’ afflicting Wike.”
HURIWA also stated that Governor Wike, in the last eight years, has become anti-workers and dictatorial.
Wike had on Monday said that some aggrieved losers in the People Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primary for 2023 which produced former State Accountant-General, Sim Fubara as candidate, were leading an Abuja plot for his downfall.
Wike during activities to celebrate former Governor Peter Odili at 74, pointed at some of the party leaders who, on his 2021 birthday, indicated interest to fly the ticket, but failed in the end, as spearheading the gang up against him.
HURIWA counselled Wike “to put an end to his cantankerous political warfare against his kinsman- Amaechi and end his administration as a democrat and not a quarrelsome tyrant.”
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2023: My Priority Is To Market Tinubu And Not Join Issues With Peter Obi, Says Uzodinma
Ahead of the 2023 general election, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, on Tuesday, said that he doesn’t want to join issue with the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, insisting that his business is to market the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the South East.
Uzodinma stated this during an interview with Channels TV’s Politics Today.
He noted that there are many loyal members of the APC in the South East who are ‘obedient’ to the party.
Uzodinma said, “I am a politician and my party is APC and I have my candidate in the party. And I know we are consulting and speaking to our people to vote for our candidate.
“I am concerned with campaigning for my party. I don’t want to join issues with Peter Obi, whom you know is not a member of my party. But I know members of APC are obedient to APC.”
The governor added, “I am very confident that the reasonable minds in Imo State will vote for my party. In 2021, I came here as a governor, 99% of our major roads were not passable. Today the major economic roads in Imo State have been managed in a very first-class manner that even the opposition party members are commending my effort.
“From 1999 to date, the members of Imo House of Assembly have no place in the state to sit. They were attached to one local government secretariat here in Owerri. The Imo House of Assembly building that was abandoned for many years has just been rehabilitated.”
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ASUU-FG Meeting Ends In Deadlock, Strike To Continue
Tuesday’s meeting between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government has again ended without an agreement.
This means the six-month old strike by public university lecturers is set to continue.
The striking lecturers had met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee on Tuesday at the National University Commission in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.
A senior member of ASUU, who craved anonymity told Channels Television that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee did not come with any new offer on the table.
Instead, the ASUU source said, the committee plead with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.
According to the source, the meeting, which started at about 12pm, lasted for about three hours without any agreement reached.
ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.
On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.
Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The agreement was struck in 2009.
Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
1,196 total views, 1,068 views today
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