– Nigerian university students may be forced to stay at home again as ASUU raises alarm over the government’s refusal to honour an agreement
– The agreement late last year after promises made to the union by agents of the federal government
– The university lecturers have revealed that the government is yet to honour its own side of the bargain
Nigerian university teachers have accused the federal government of reneging on the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The allegation comes two weeks after the lecturers suspended their nine-month-old strike.
In a statement sent to journalists, ASSU noted that the government was yet to pay their December salaries, while “illegal” deductions were still to be refunded.
The statement, according to The Guardian, accused the government of failing to honour agreements made last year.
It said the government had:
“Again failed to honour its agreement on payment of not only outstanding salaries of members ranging from five to eight months; Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and check off dues illegally deducted before December 31, 2020.”
The lecturers had embarked on strike in March 2020 over government’s refusal to honour the agreement reached with ASUU in 2009 that revolves around university revitalisation, improved funding and infrastructure development.
The body also protested against government’s introduction of an alternative payment platform, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), insisting the initiative was at variance with university autonomy and therefore directed members not to enrol on the platform.
The statement by ASUU suggests the lecturers might embark on another strike if the government fails to keep to its own side of the agreement.
The possibility of another strike has irked some Nigerians on social media, who are now calling on the authorities to honour their own side of the bargain.
Legit.ng monitored some comments on a popular forum, Nairaland.
A Nigerian writing with the moniker, Kraspo, wrote:
“I honestly pity Nigerian university students. I knew how bored I was during that 2013 ASUU strike. It is a pity that the country is in this state. I hope the federal government does the needful and end this protracted industrial action!”
“ASUU is talking as if they don’t know this current government, infact APC is synonymous with lies, they are the real university of lies.”
“Doesn’t it bother you that this government cannot and can never be trusted with the welfare of its citizens? They are just good at telling lies and making bogus promises.”
“A government that’s deeply rooted in deception. Simple agreement they can’t keep to their own side of the bargain. May God help us in this country.”
Recall that ASUU had warned that it might resume its suspended strike in February 2021 if the federal government fails to fulfil the promises it made to the lecturers.
The national president of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, made this known in Lagos shortly after the union suspended its nine-month-old strike late last year.
Meanwhile, Senator Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, had earlier vowed not to give ASUU an opportunity to go on another strike.
According to Ngige, he will do everything to ensure the union doesn’t embark on industrial action, adding that the federal government will keep to its agreement.
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