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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Osinbajo Jets To Dubai, To Address Global LPG Forum
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, departed Abuja to participate at the World Liquified Petroleum Gas Association forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
According to a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the VP is expected to deliver a keynote address at the event which would feature leaders, including top government ministers from across the world.
Also, some Chief Executives of major multinational corporations in the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) sectors around the globe are expected to attend the week-long 2021 World LPG Week from Sunday through Thursday this week under the auspices of the Paris-based World LPG Association.
Prof. Osinbajo will be speaking on Tuesday at the forum, which is attracting over 2,000 delegates from 72 countries, on the theme of the LPG Week – “Energising Tomorrow.”
The World LGP Week, which will first be held in Amsterdam in 2019, is an annual event bringing together major LPG companies, senior public sector officials, industry experts and other relevant stakeholders.
This year’s LPG Week, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, creates the opportunity for global stakeholders to engage with the activities lined up, including a global exhibition, technology conference, the LPG Development Summit, among others.
The World LPG Association was established in 1987 and granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, in 1989. WLPGA is the umbrella association which globally coordinates the LPG industry.
According to Laolu, the Vice President is expected back in Abuja on Thursday.
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Dowen College: My Son Is Not Involve In Sylvester Death, Sen. Kashamu’s Family Speaks
The family of the late Senator Buruji Kashamu has denied the involvement of their son in the death of Sylvester Oromoni, 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lekki.
Recall that Sylvester died from internal injuries days before his birthday after being assaulted by fellow students in Dowen College.
The deceased, before his death, mentioned some names of boys who assaulted him.
Kashamu’s son was one of the suspects named in the case.
However, the family in a statement issued by Mutairu Kashamu for the family, confirmed that although one of their sons, Michael Adewale Kashamu, was named among the suspected bullies of the deceased, he had no involvement in the death of Sylvester.
Part of the statement read: “The Kashamu family has been inundated with enquiries, calls and messages over the unfortunate incident at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos, that led to the untimely death of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of the College.
“Most commentators have rushed to conclusions based on assumptions and false information, including the allegation that our son Adewale Michael Kashamu was involved in the bullying or beating of Sylvester Oromoni.”
The family noted that it has conducted its private investigation since the story broke out and their son was just Sylvester’s school father the previous session.
”We as a family have made our own private enquiries and carefully questioned our son about his involvement. This is why we didn’t rush out to respond to the cyber-stalking, name-calling and negative commentaries that have taken over the social media about our son’s alleged involvement in this sad incident.
”Some of the true facts now slowly emerging from under the mass of lies are that: Our son, Adewale Michael Kashamu, had acted as a school father for the late Sylvester in his first session in the school at the request of Sylvester’s sister who is also a student of the school.
“However, in the 2021 session which began in September 2021 Adewale Michael Kashamu was moved to a different floor in the boarding house and engrossed in his own studies and activities, our son was no longer as close to Sylvester as in the previous session.”
The family condoled with the family of Late Sylvester Oromoni and appealed to all and sundry to hold their horses until the police and the Lagos State government have completed their independent investigations and established the truth.
Dowen College has been shut down indefinitely by the Lagos State government till investigation into Sylvester’s death is over.
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Omicron: FG Expresses Disappointment Over UK Govt’s Red Listing Of Nigeria
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has expressed disappointment over the United Kingdom government’s placement of Nigeria on its red list following the detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
“We were not very happy when six countries in Sub-Saharan Africa were placed on a red list and the WHO also advised against putting each on the red list,” the minister said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, less than one day after the UK announced the move.
“From what we know about the COVID-19, there are many ways to manage it, and besides, not much is still known about the Omicron variant. We know, for example, that there have been no fatalities.
“There have also been no reports of very severe illness. Actually, the rationale for being so hasty in putting countries on the red list is not something that is very helpful.”
According to the minister, the move was ill-advised as he noted that it would have multiple impacts on commerce, and disrupt activities during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
“It is going to disrupt commerce,” he added. It is going to disrupt family reunions.”
Ban List Not ‘Helpful’
He explained that while Nigeria has detected the COVID-19 virus on travellers from the UK, the cases have not been confirmed to be the Omicron variant.
While reiterating that the placement of countries on the red list will not help in the global fight against the pandemic, Ehanire said Nigeria is anticipating the fourth wave of the disease.
“If every country were going to put other countries on the ban list, very soon you would have a large number of countries on your red list,” the minister said.
“So, I do believe there are other ways of going about it. We in Nigeria do not regard banning flights and movements of people as particularly helpful and supportive.”
The UK’s move, which came a few days after Nigeria detected the new strain, followed a similar decision by the Canadian authorities.
“Foreign nationals who have transited or stayed in these 10 countries cannot enter Canada if they have been in those countries in the last two weeks,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos told a press conference.
Aside from Nigeria, Egypt and Malawi were the other countries recently added to Canada’s travel ban list.
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