ASUU Begins Protest Over Withheld Salaries, Other Demands..Seeks Nigerians Intervention To Avert Strike - EDU-BIZNEWS


Thursday, July 4, 2024

ASUU Begins Protest Over Withheld Salaries, Other Demands..Seeks Nigerians Intervention To Avert Strike

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has commenced its nation wide  protest over  the withheld three and half months salaries since 2022 and non implementation of agreement reached with the Federal Government on demands of the union

Chairman of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) branch of the union, Dr. Gbenga Adeleye who led the peaceful protest of the aggrieved academic staff displaying placards of different bold inscriptions round the major parts of the institution's on its Alabata main campus on Thursday in an interview with newsmen, explained that the protest was to create awareness about the ugly situation and ask Nigerians to quickly intervene and prevail on the government to address the demands, so as to avert another round of indefinite strike in public university system in the country 

National leadership of ASUU according to him, had done everything within its reach to get the attention of the Federal Government to look at welfare of academic staff of federal universities including the unpaid promotion arrears since 2018,  Earned Academic Allowances already mainstreamed into the last 2023 Budget of the Federal Government, amongst others demands for a better public university system 

"We can no longer keep quiet and behave as if all is well, this government is not only paying lip-service to our welfare, they are even ignoring us as a union ", he stated 

Adeleye described the situation as very unfortunate despite the assurances given by some top officials of the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who met with the union before coming into power and suddenly not longer meeting with the union to resolve the issues including the immediate payment of outstanding third party deductions such as check-off dues and cooperative society, the need to deploy the use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as payment platform for academic staff in the university system to replace the IPPIS being used for  members 

The union is also calling for an end  to the proliferation of establishment of universities by both federal and state governments, so as free up more financial resources for adequate funding of the existing public universities 

"We can no longer wait and live in penury. Any country that ignores the welfare of its Egg- Heads (Academic Staff) in Ivory Tower is aiming for the rock, that is why we are crying out to Nigerians , particularly those who are close to the people in government to do needful to avert the looming crisis in the public university system ", he warned 

Also speaking, a veteran member of the union, Prof. Olukayode Bamgbose lamented that the academic staff in public universities have been on same salary scale since 2009 without review despite the current economic hardship in the country 

He accused government of failing to implement agreements reached with ASUU as contained in the various reports of three previous panels set up by the Federal Government from the first led by Dr. Wale Babalakin to the most recent led by Prof.Nimi Briggs 

Similarly, the National Treasurer of ASUU, Prof Olusiji Sowande appealed to members of the public to prevail government to reason with the union by  meeting with its leadership to resolve the protracted issues 

He asked the government to demonstrate willingness, commitment and sincerity in implementing the report ot the Nimi Briggs led panel to prevent the imminent the industrial action 

Other branches of ASUU are expected to stage similar protest as directed by its National Executive Council of the union to alert of the general public of the situation 

It will be recalled that the union embarked on the prolonged strike that lasted for a period of eighth months during the immediate past administration of President Mohammadu Buhari in 2022 to compel the government to improve the learning condition in public university system but instead the government resorted to applying the no work no pay rule which led to the withheld eight months salaries which was later reduced by the current Tinubu's administration to three and half months 

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