The federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) leadership will meet tomorrow (Monday) to resolve problems made by lecturers about the non-implementation of their December agreement with the government.
The union warned last week to restart the industrial action it has been suspending since December 2020 because to the federal government’s claimed inability to honor a large number of the agreements it reached with lecturers.
Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, ASUU’s chairman at Bauchi’s Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, issued the warning at a meeting with select media at the union’s office.
He explained that the protracted strike, which was intended to hammer home their demands for the continued survival of Nigeria’s public university system, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues, which included timelines for implementing each of the eight items.
Inuwa stated that seven months after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed, just two of the eight concerns had been resolved.
He cited several unresolved concerns, including Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), funding for the revitalization of public institutions, wage shortages, proliferation of state universities, and the Visitation Panel.
Others, he says, include renegotiations, the replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), delayed wages, and failure to return Check-off Dues.
He complained that the only issues addressed were pay shortfalls and visiting panels to government colleges.
However, according to a statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Charles Akpan, the minister, Senator Chris Ngige, will host the ASUU leadership to a meeting at the ministry’s conference room at the federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will hold a meeting with ASUU,” Akpan stated. The meeting is planned for Monday, August 2, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. in the Minister’s Conference Room.”
The meeting’s primary agenda item is the execution of the federal government’s accord with ASUU.
Prof. Emmanuel Osodake, President of ASUU, had informed THISDAY that the union had been called to a meeting with Ngige on Friday.
However, the meeting was allegedly rescheduled for Monday to allow for preparations by members of the government team.
“We met with Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, who promised to reach out to us,” he added. He has invited us to meet with him on Friday.
Osodake stated that the union did not threaten to strike, but rather placed the federal government on notice to ensure that the deal reached with the union is implemented prior to the union’s National Executive Committee meeting this month.