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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it is not ready to suspend its ongoing strike until government pays outstanding three-to-seven months withheld salaries and approves University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) among other demands.
ASUU in a statement released by the Zonal Coordinator of the Ibadan Zone, Professor Ade Adejumo, faulted the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, saying he lied that government was not owing lecturers any salary on a TV broadcast.
According to ASUU, federal government agencies have been footdragging on early resolution of the ongoing strike anchored on implementation of outstanding components of 2009 FG-ASUU agreement, revitalisation funding of Universities, unpaid earned academic allowances and renegotiation of the agreement for upward review of salaries of lecturers to conform with contemporary reality.
ASUU stated that postcolonial Nigerian governments’ attack on the education sector contributes to the underdevelopment of the nation adding that this is why the government has become a shadow of itself.
Professor Adejumo added that “ASUU is particularly disappointed because we assumed that the government’s public outlook was based on the anti-corruption constantly orchestrated by this government.”
The ASUU boss accused Buhari led Government of allegedly being insensitive to education and for the inhuman treatment of lecturers.
“We are pained and disturbed that the honourable Minister of Labour and Employment does not seem to be aware that the salaries of the nations academic staff in the public universities have not been paid for upward of three to seven months”.
“For the benefit of Nigerians, ASUU wishes to state that in sharp contrast to President Buhari’s directive on University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS), the respective government agencies involved are deliberately delaying its endorsement for implementation.”
“The ministries involved may wish to know that the inhumane treatment that ASUU is being subjected to has further emboldened us to rescue the soul of Nigeria’s public University education.”
The Union stated that the ongoing strike would not be called off until government proactively responded to the demands of the union and made knowledge industry a priority.
“Hence, the government and the ministries involved need to do the needful, i.e. meet with ASUU in order for academic activities to resume. The starting point for this is the payment of withheld salaries of academics in Nigeria’s public universities,” ASUU stated.
“It should be noted that ASUU went on strike as a result of the combination of three inter-related factors: Nigerian governments’ increasing anti-labour policies and the history of sabotage in the education sector and the government’s refusal to honour the agreement reached with the union for revitalisation of public sector universities.”