The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed its readiness to embark on another round of strike following what it termed Federal Government’s failure to implement an agreement signed with the union.
National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday.
The union gave the Federal Government till Tuesday, August 31, to reach out or it will activate the procedure of embarking on strike.
Recall that in March 2020, ASUU embarked on a strike following its disagreement with the Federal Government (FG) over the funding of universities and the ineffectiveness and discrepancies around the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS) and others.
ASUU, however, developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution(UTAS) to replace IPPIS and had several meetings with the Ministries of Finance, Education, Labour and Employment, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation before it was approved but yet to be implemented.
FG and ASUU also signed an agreement aimed at resolving some of the demands of ASUU, a development that led to the suspension of the strike on December 24, 2020.
But after a meeting with the FG on August 2, 2021, Osodeke said the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) insisted that UTAS must be re-presented to the end users.
Also, at the meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, assured ASUU that the N22 billion earned allowance captured in the 2021 supplementary budget would soon be accessed by university workers.
However, Osodeke said that FG had stopped reaching out to ASUU and had failed to implement the agreement it reached with the union.
Due to government’s silence over their demands, the ASUU President said the union would not hesitate to embark on a fresh strike to protest government’s failure.
“The government has refused to reach out to us. Government officials have stopped. In fact, they don’t take our calls again. Nigerians should tell the government to do what they agreed to do.
“We signed an agreement and even in May, we reached a final agreement; this is August and nothing has been implemented. Does it make any sense? We are giving them till the end of August and after that, we start the procedures,” Osodeke said.