From Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU has resolved to embark on a total and Indefinite strike until the Federal Government resolved the issues on ground.
It could be recalled that ASUU had embarked on a two-week warning strike which was declared by the National Executive Council ( NEC) of ASUU which ended its meeting in Enugu.
The President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, who announced the indefinite strike action at a press conference in Abuja, explained that the government has ignored the outstanding issues in the FGN- ASUU Memorandum of Action of 7th February 2020.
He added that government officials provoked Nigerian academics into striking when it stopped the payment of the salaries of academics staff in Federal Universities.
According to him, during a meeting with President Muhammad Buhari, he promised to set up a high powered enquiry to look into how much could be allowed in terms of management of resources and personnel by the varsities, within the limit of the constitution.
He reiterated that ASUU has consistently rejected IPPIS because of its technical and procedures deficiencies.
He lamented that with the payment of some categories of university staff through the platform last month, fears about distortion in take home pay non release of third party deduction, inability to link the personnel information with the payroll system have been confirmed.
His words,” based on the review of reports from ASUU leadership’s engagement with government , NEC concluded that government had failed to satisfactory address the outstanding issues raised in the FGN- ASUU 2019 MoA and ignored the objections of ASUU against IPPIS.
“ Consequently, NEC resolved to embark on a total, comprehensive and Indefinite Strike action beginning Monday, 23rd March , 2020 until the issues are satisfactorily resolved.
Further speaking, the NEC of ASUU in meeting in Abuja , has observed that the document being put together for ensuring sustainable funding of education in Nigeria did not, in anyway refer to the 2019 FGN-ASUU MoA .
According to the union President, ASUU demands a clear timeline for the phased release of the outstanding balance of about N1.1tr based on the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding of FGN and ASUU.
He stressed that the union would like to see a situation in which all obstacle to the smooth operation of the Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO) are fully removed in other to assure comfort for members.
“ Our union shall align forces with the labour movement , professional bodies (NMA, NBA etc) , students, farmers and artisans to ensure that the dignity of scholars is not totally eroded in Nigeria, “he assured.