Diaspora Info

Information Everywhere

ASUU reveals the FG’s scheme to use union salary as leverage

ASUU FG Meeting

The Federal Government, according to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), is not earnest about fixing the problems that just prompted six-month protest.

The union, which made the announcement that it would meet with government officials today, August 16, said it was “unfortunate” that the government was trying to persuade its members to end the strike by offering salary increases rather than dealing with the problems that the country’s universities are facing on a systemic level.

On Monday, August 15, ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, accused the government of only giving lip service to higher education.

ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke explain further,

“The government is not sincere in its dealing with us. This has been the issue all along.

“What we are doing is the sacrifice we have to save this country and its youths. A collapsed university system is a collapsed country and we are almost there.  We will not be tired, we will ensure that our university system works.

“We have not heard any serious communication from the government though they have invited us for renegotiation of the 2009 agreement tomorrow (today).

“The issues have to do with funding, structure, autonomy, and how to raise funds for the university system in Nigeria.  But the government has reduced the issue to just salary alone.

“If the government has looked at the issues comprehensively, we will not be talking about funding.  This government wants to blackmail us with salaries.

“Every university in the world is an autonomous body. You don’t subject the university to public service. This is why we are where we are today.

“The renegotiation started in 2017 when Mr. Wale Babalakin was appointed to chair the talks. We spent more than two years on that.

“That committee eventually collapsed when Babalakin was removed as the Chancellor of the University of Lagos.  Another person was appointed.

“Each time a new committee is set up, the first question we ask them is whether they have the mandate to renegotiate the whole agreement with us and they usually answer in the affirmative.

“Imagine since May 2021, we concluded renegotiation and they said they would get back to us.  Since then, they didn’t back to us since we started this strike.”

Osodeke also referred to Festus Keyamo’s assertion that the government lacked the resources necessary to meet ASUU’s requests as a “sad development.” Keyamo is the Minister of State for Labour and Employment.

He stated:

“It is sad for the Federal Government to say it does not have money to meet our demand.  If anybody has a will, he or she can get what he wants.

“If the government has the will and believes that education is important, it will raise any amount to fix it.

“This is a government that has given N100 billion for Trader Moni, raised about N200 billion to feed school children?  Each of these is more than what we are asking for as revitalisation fund.”

Regarding how to end the situation, the ASUU President remarked;

“We have always been asking the government to give enough budgetary allocation to the education.

“All over Africa, Nigeria has the lowest of about 5.3 percent when countries like Ghana and South Africa give about 16 percent of its budget.

“If the government signs to the agreements of the previous discussions, the strike would be called off.”

Osodeke also disclosed that the problems with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, or UTAS, and the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) have been fixed.

He explained:

“The issue of IPPIS and UTAS has been put to rest. If the government agrees with us tomorrow, everything will be resolved.

“The issues of IPPIS and UTAS have been put to rest as agreed with the Chief of Staff, the Utas will be implemented.

“You see, if this government is serious, this strike will not last more than two weeks. The President directed the Minister of Education to finish within two weeks, now two weeks have passed and they didn’t come back.”

Leave a Reply

Instagram did not return a 200.
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial