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ASUU THREATENS STRIKE, GIVES FG ULTIMATUM

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, in an interview with The Punch on Sunday, 29th August 2021, has threatened to embark on industrial strike action following what it has called the failure of the Federal Government, FG, to implement an agreement signed with the union.

The union is giving the government till Tuesday, 31st August 2021 to reach out to them, or as a union, they will activate the procedure of embarking on strike again.

Professor Emmanuel Osokeke, President, ASUU

Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, disclosed this in the interview, adding that the Federal Government, which has failed to implement agreements between them and the FG, has also stopped picking its calls.

Recall that in March 2020, ASUU embarked on a strike following its disagreement with the Federal Government over the funding of the 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 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 is yet to be implemented.

Also, the FG and ASUU signed an agreement aimed at resolving some of the demands of ASUU, a development that led to the suspension of the strike on the 24th December, 2020.

Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour & Productivity

After a meeting with the FG on 2nd August 2021, Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity, assured ASUU that the N22bn earned allowance captured in the 2021 supplementary budget would soon be accessed by the university workers. Due to Government’s silence over their demands, Osodeke said the Union would not hesitate to embark on a fresh strike, stating that: “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.

He further said: “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 end of August and after that, we start the procedures.”

Story: Ene Ken-Yawe

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