Why we won’t call off strike ― ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it would not call off its ongoing indefinite industrial action (strike) until the federal government yielded to its demands.

The union also accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige of spreading falsehood about the latest as regards its face-off with the federal government.

The Lagos Zone coordinator of ASUU and lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof Olusiji Sowande, gave this hint and also accused the minister in a statement on Wednesday.

According to him, ASUU came out with this development by putting the record straight as a reaction to a comment made by Dr Nigige on a live television programme on Tuesday about the lingering crisis with ASUU.

He said the minister misinformed the public by narrowing down the issues in contention between the federal government and ASUU to the rejection by the latter of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

He said so many other issues are there unsolved listing them to non-fully implementation of their 2009 agreement and that of February 2019 Memorandum of Action, non-payment of outstanding Earned Academic Allowances, non-conclusion of the renegotiation of 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and non-setting up of visitation panels to federal universities as well as the proliferation of state universities.

He said the claim by the minister that government had paid salaries of ASUU’s members up to date was not true as the correct position according to Sowande is that their salaries were paid up to June while in some cases not up to that month.

He also said the government had withheld their February to June 2020 check-off dues deducted from their salaries.

He said it is disappointing that the minister could go on air to present information he had not verified to be true to the public.

Sowande, therefore, re-emphasised that the union would continue its ongoing strike as long as the minister of labour continues to engage in propaganda and spread of falsehood against ASUU.

He, however, urged well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of quality education to prevail on the federal government to do the needful in order to restore normalcy to public universities.


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