Another strike in the nation’s higher institutions of learning may be in the offing as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is set to meet on Saturday, December 18, 2021, to deliberate on the matter.
This is even as the ASUU has urged the Federal Government not to drag the educational sector to dark days of strikes by urgently implementing the December 23, 2020 Memorandum of Action (MoA) reached between both parties.
The union’s Zonal Co-ordinator in charge of Sokoto zone, Jamilu Shehu, stated this at a press conference in Katsina State yesterday.
ASUU Sokoto zone comprises of five institutions, including the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina (UMYU); Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero (KSUSTA); Sokoto State University, Sokoto (SSU) and Federal University Dutsinma (FUDMA).
Shehu said the union had embarked on an indefinite strike on March 9, 2020 over government’s failure to address outstanding issues in the ASUU/FGN MoA of February 7, 2020.
He added that the strike was suspended following agreements reached between both parties on December 22, 2020, which led to the signing of a new MoA.
He, however, said that despite the gentleman agreement, there were still issues yet to be implemented, a situation that is stoking the embers of a possible strike.
Shehu identified the outstanding issues to include lack of full implementation of funding for the revitalisation of public universities, and payment and mainstreaming of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
Others are the implementation of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), and inconsistencies in salary payment with the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).
He said ASUU and the Federal Government had concluded the renegotiation exercise, and had come up with a draft document, but that the government team was delaying making further recommendations on the draft.
“In view of the foregoing, therefore, ASUU would no longer rely on lies and pledges of the implementation of the December 23, 2020 MoA by the government.
“We are, hence, calling for all the concerned parties to urgently address these issues in line with the spirit and letters of the December 2020 MoA and the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives, and others, or risk industrial action.
“Also, the union hereby calls on all patriotic Nigerians to prevail on the government to return to the path of honour by concluding the MoA it agreed to implement.
“Both the federal and state governments should be impressed upon to accord the educational sector the attention it deserves because that is the only, and of course surest way, that we can truly develop as a nation,” he stated.