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Again, ASUU Extends Strike By 4 weeks

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday announced an extension of its ongoing strike by four more weeks.

The union announced this in a statement issued and signed Monday by its National President, Emmanuel Osodeke, citing the failure of the Federal government to fulfil its promises.

Osodeke noted that the decision was taken during an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council on Sunday at its headquarters located on the campus of the University of Abuja.

The union however thanked the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), affiliate unions and civil society organisations for trooping out to stage a nationwide protest between the 26th and 27th of July.

The statement reads in part: “Following extensive deliberations and taking cognisance of government’s past failures to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MOA), NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for four weeks to give the government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues. The role-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 1st August 2022

“An emergency meeting of the National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja, on Sunday, 31st July 2022. The meeting was called to review developments since NEC’s resolution to extend its roll-over strike action by another 12 weeks with effect from May 2022.”

ASUU said the NEC meeting took place against the backdrop of the government’s obligations “as spelt out in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with ASUU on 23rd December 2020.”

It further added that; “Specifically, NEC recalled that government’s failure to conclude the process of renegotiating the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, deploy the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), pay outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), release agreed sum of money for the revitalisation of public universities (federal and states), address proliferation and governance issues in state universities, settle promotion arrears, release withheld salaries of academics, and pay outstanding third-party deductions led to the initial declaration of the roll-over strike on 14th February 2022.

“NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by the President and visitor to all federal universities that the Minister of Education, in consultation with other government officials, should resolve the lingering crisis and report to him within two weeks. The Union wonders why it had taken five full months and needless muscle-flexing for the government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement.”

ASUU said it acknowledged “the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the union’s principled demand for a globally competitive university education in Nigeria.”

It however said the “non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by Professor Nimi Briggs-led Committee is further tasking the patience of ASUU members nationwide.”

The union further observed that the ongoing trial of the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, on allegation of monumental fraud has vindicated ASUU’s rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS), noting that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is enjoined to release reports of the latest tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) vis-a-vis IPPIS without further delay.

It also warned that ASUU shall resist any attempt to truncate the deployment of UTAS with all legitimate means available to the union.

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