7-month after calling off 9-month strike, ASUU again threatens fresh industrial action

Barely about seven months after it called off its nine months old strike in December 2020, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to resume industrial action over the Federal Government’s alleged failure to honour many of the agreements it “willing” signed with the Union.

This was stated by the chairperson, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, while speaing with journalists at the Union’s Secretariat.

According to Inuwa, 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 (MoU) on the various issues providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items.

He noted that since the suspension of the 9-month strike last year December, only two out of the eight issues have been addressed. He 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.

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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.

Inuwa however noted that “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.”

NewsWireNGR recalled that the Union last month, June, had threatened another strike over what it called the deliberate refusal of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, to pay the salaries and remittance of check-off dues of over 1,000 staff for 13 months.

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