Even though it accused the federal government of failing to meet its demands, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has resolved not to go ahead with its planned strike.
The union said its decision was to allow the ongoing consultations to produce the desired results.
At the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja on Saturday, the union reviewed the level of government’s implementation of the FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) of December 23, 2020 and other related matters.
ASUU president, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, however, regretted that the federal government had turned its back on the plan to set up an inter-ministerial committee to review the draft Renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement.
ASUU had announced plans to embark on a strike over the federal government’s failure to meet its demands.
The union listed its demands as the review of the NUC Act to curb the proliferation of universities by state governments who are not funding the existing ones; adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS) with concurrent discontinuance of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and distortion in salary payment.
Others are the release of accumulated promotion arrears; and the review and signing of the draft document on the Renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.
The NEC meeting, however, expressed worries by the spirited efforts of government’s agents to reduce the demands of ASUU to a regime of intermittent payment of watered-down revitalisation fund and release of distorted and grossly devalued Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
It said, “NEC condemns, in strong terms, the surreptitious moves to pooh pooh our demands on the review of the NUC’s Act to curb the proliferation of universities by state governments which are not funding the existing ones; adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) with concurrent discontinuance of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and distortion in salary payment; release of accumulated promotion arrears and the review and signing of the draft document on the Renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.
ASUU shall not relent in demanding for improvement in the welfare and conditions of service of our members. However, we shall resist any attempt to blackmail the union and derail our patriotic struggle for a productive university system by official propaganda founded on tokenism and crumb-sharing.
NEC noted with regrets that the federal government has turned its back on plan to set up an inter-ministerial committee to review the draft Renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement to enable the parties conclude a negotiation process which began in March 2017.
This is contrary to the assurance given the leadership of ASUU by the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, at a meeting with the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives on 19th November, 2021.
He minister assured us that the process of reviewing the document would be set in motion within one week from that date. Hon. Nwajiuba’s failure to fulfill a promise made in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly is not only provocative but reminiscent of trust-deficit that has bedevilled all agreements and understandings reached with this government and those before it since 2009.
NEC concluded that government has failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and subsequent MoUs and MoAs. However, considering the ongoing intervention and consultation efforts, NEC resolved to review the situation at a later date with a view to deciding on the next line of action,” he added.
The ASUU president noted that the union shall spare no efforts in its struggle for the repositioning of public universities and the transformation of Nigeria.