The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Friday renewed its threat to embark on strike over alleged non-implementation of the Memorandum of Action it signed with the Federal Government.
Addressing newsmen at the end of its zonal meeting held at the University of Ilorin, the Ibadan zone coordinator of the union, Prof. Oyebamiji Oyegoke, called on Nigerians to intervene “at this critical moment before our members withdraw their services.”
The press interaction, held on the sidelines of events marking the Human Rights Day on Friday, was used by ASUU to reiterate its demand for the full implementation of 2020 Memorandum of Action it signed with the Federal Government.
Items in the MOA include “Funding for Revitalisation of Public Universities; Payment of Earned Academic Allowances, Withheld Salaries and Promotion Arrears; Renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement; Inconsistencies in IPPIS Payment and University Transparency and Accountability Solution.”
While lamenting lecturers’ plight, Oyegoke said “53 lecturers of the University of Ibadan have not been paid their salaries since December 2020 till date while lecturers in the Ebonyi State University have not been paid their salaries for months meanwhile the state governor has established two more universities without paying the lecturers of the existing one.”
He added, “Our baseline is full implementation of the 2020 MOA freely signed by the Federal Government and the union. This calls for a lot of concern. There’s no commitment to the agreement entered into. Government is not sensitive to the welfare of workers. That’s why we’re using these channels to sensitise people so that they don’t see us as using strike as the only tool of fighting for our demands.
“While we commend interventions of notable Nigerians in the matter, however, it should be stated here that it is about actions and not deliberations. These are no new demands. Some of our members have not been paid salary since December last year and they’re still working. It shows commitment on our part.”
Oyegoke said ASUU would no longer accept “selective treatment of issues in dispute instead of a comprehensive approach.”
“We shall no longer take the issue of welfare of our members for granted.
“It is on the basis of the failure of government to meet up with the promises made as attested to in the MoA of 2020 that the union is calling on Nigerians to intervene at this critical moment.
“The demands of the union are realistic and holistic in the common interest of the country’s educational and developmental pursuits. If nothing is done, we will be left with no other choice but to withdraw our services until reason prevails.”