The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has once more expressed disappointment over the refusal of the federal government to honour the agreements it freely entered into with the union in December 2020, saying Nigerians should hold the government responsible if they embark on another industrial action.
The Lagos State Zonal Coordinator of the union, Prof. Adelaja Odukoya, who briefed journalists yesterday, called on the federal government to go through the document of the agreement signed with the union, saying failure to do so may force ASUU to embark on another strike.
The agreements according to the union included the implementation of the renegotiated 2009 ASUU/ FGN agreement, approval of the deployment of UTAS as a payment platform, as well as funding of state universities yet to get the desired attention from owner government and visitors to those universities.
According to him, “they (government) should let us know if they have any problem on the agreement signed and if there are issues, we will sit down on the round table and resolve the issues. As we speak, the federal government has adamantly done nothing to ensure that the renegotiation agreement is signed and implemented.
“We are perplexed that the states and federal government are not responding to our consistent appeal or listening to bring about genuine transformation by highly motivated human capital in the education sector for our university system.
“Embarking on strike is not in our character nor is it in our nature, however, our union should not be pushed to the wall, we only go on strike as a last resort. We are in a position where the government is not doing the needful.”
He expressed concern about the neglect of conditions of service of academics saying lecturers have made sacrifices over the years than any other segment of the society to ensure that universities in the country were globally competitive, “but despite that, they are poorly remunerated.”
“We are producing lecturers and manpower for other parts of the world so we must be paid remuneration that is globally competitive. We are calling on all Nigerians to prevail on the federal government to do the needful, “he said.
Emphasizing the issue of IPPIS, Odukoya alleged that the Accountant General of the federation seemed to have made a business of it, saying that those found culpable in fraudulent practice, should be arrested by the EFCC.
On the funding of state and federal universities, the zonal coordinator said politicians are interested in creating new universities as constituency projects rather than funding existing ones, adding that academics are underpaid.
“We say this must stop. Go to several of our universities, particularly our state universities, they are TETfund universities because the state government has nothing doing there. They don’t even fund them. Our union has continued to bring up issues about the governance of our universities because it forms part of our professional and moral responsibility,” the don stressed.