The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday accused the Federal Government(FG) of failure to remit check off dues deducted on behalf of the union between February and June 2020.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan Chapter, Professor Ayo Akinwole, who disclosed this in Ibadan, said that there is an evil conspiracy among the ruling elite to wipe out public university education which provides education to over 90 per cent of Nigerian students, in order to elevate private universities which are owned by themselves and their collaborators.
The union has been on strike for over six months to “draw attention of government to the implications of criminal negligence of not funding public universities in the light of rising insecurity and other mounting social problems.”
According to Akinwole, the plan by the government to use stoppage of salary to punish varsity lecturers for being concerned with the parlous state of affairs in the nations’ tertiary institutions has failed, as members have resolved to ensure that government becomes responsive and responsible.
He maintained that while the union is ready to discuss outstanding issues on the implementation of the February 2019 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between FG and ASUU as well as other conditions of service with government, the FG has not been forthcoming but has rather resorted to embarking on propaganda against the union.
Akinwole, however, said that the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) developed by the Union to replace the government’s Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) which he said has been orchestrated to destroy global academic culture is fully ready, lamenting government’s insincerity of purpose.
The ASUU chairman also denied the claim that the union would call off its strike as propagated by Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, adding that while the lecturers are ready to work, they would not unless government fully attends to all the demands, including immediate implementation.
“As of today October 4, 2020, ASUU members are being owed three months salaries. In some Universities like MOAU and UNIMAID our members have not receive salary for up to six months.
“The Federal Government through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation have criminally withheld five months (February-June, 2020) Check-Off deducted from our members salaries without remittance to the Union.
“FG has forcefully enlisted our members on the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme and has consistently been illegally deducting money for this from our members salaries.
“Our ongoing total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action would continue if this propaganda and lies against ASUU by appointees and representatives of the Federal Government like the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige persists,” Akinwole added.