In a recent development, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed its plea towards President Bola Tinubu, urging prompt payment of lecturers’ salaries that have been withheld for a span of eight months. This withholding of salaries came about due to the “2022 patriotic strike action,” which ASUU undertook as a response to the government’s failure to uphold its commitments as agreed upon.
Additionally, the association has called upon the present administration to take proactive steps in expediting the renegotiation process concerning the 2009 ASUU/FGN Agreement. This initiative stems from the recommendations put forth by the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee, aimed at restoring the integrity of the university system.
Issuing a statement, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the ASUU President, revealed that the National Executive Council (NEC) convened to deliberate on various pressing matters affecting both the educational system and the nation as a whole. This crucial meeting transpired at the University of Maiduguri in Borno State, spanning from August 19 to 20.
Among the topics discussed, the union expressed its strong opposition to the dissolution of governing councils within federal universities, viewing this action as a violation of established laws.
In the official statement, it was communicated, “The NEC extends commendation to the courageous and resilient Nigerian academics who have persevered through economic, social, and emotional challenges stemming from the prolonged lack of salary disbursement.” This recognition serves to highlight the history of ASUU’s past strikes, which were prompted by the consistent disregard of agreements and memoranda by successive administrations. These agreements, formed through the principles of collective bargaining outlined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and integrated into Nigeria’s labor laws, have been consistently overlooked.
Furthermore, NEC expressed deep concern over the delay in addressing several months’ worth of promotion arrears owed to ASUU members, a situation exacerbated by disruptions stemming from the mandatory enrollment of academics onto the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform. Despite numerous efforts made by both the union and university administrations, the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has not taken action to resolve this issue.
In light of this, ASUU is urging the OAGF to promptly release the accumulated promotion arrears, emphasizing that such actions are necessary to uphold a peaceful and harmonious working environment.
The union has also voiced its rejection of any unauthorized appointments that are promoted by the IPPIS and its representatives within Nigerian public universities. This move underscores ASUU’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the academic system and its members’ rights.