ASUU Shelves Strike, Warns FG Against Reneging On Agreement


BY TEMI OHAKWE, ABUJA – The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, has called off its nine month old strike with effect from Thursday, December 24, 2020.

Accordingly, the University Union says it is suspending conditionally the current industrial action with the hope that Federal Government fulfils its part of the Agreement.

However, ASUU warns that the suspended strike action may resume anytime it deems necessary if certain promises and timelines are not kept by the government.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday morning, ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of ASUU held on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, it was resolved that the agreements reached between the Union and the Federal Government be accepted in the interim.

Prof Ogunyemi explained that ASUU resolved to consciously and diligently monitor the implementation of the FGN/ASUU agreements of December 22, 2020

He said the understanding is; “To pursue the areas in the FGN-ASUU agreement of 2009 and the MOA 2013 that require legislation such as the mainstreaming of Earned Allowance into the annual budget and the amendment of the Executive Bill, in respect of the NUC Act 2004.”

The ASUU President, who said IPPIS is no longer an issue to ASUU, explained that the Federal Government has agreed its members will eventually migrate to UTAS and salaries of all ASUU members will be paid via the platform by January 2021.

“Government has agreed in principle with us and should government renege our members will not hesitate to withdraw their services”, he said

Furthermore, ASUU said it is expecting an immediate release of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) as agreed by both parties during the negotiations.

It also expects the government to engage the universities and other research centres in fighting against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Union and its members are more than ready to meet the challenges of partnering with government and other stakeholders to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the country”, the ASUU boss assured.

Similarly, ASUU said government is also expected to expedite action on the test processes and ensure the deployment of UTAS for the payment of salaries in the nation’s University system.

Prof Ogunyemi also hinted that government has already commenced payment of salaries owed to its members, adding that; “We also expect that the FGN/ASUU re-negotiation exercise would be concluded as specified in the timelines agreed by both parties.”

Explaining that the implementation time of agreements is elastic, the ASUU chief stressed that some aspects of the agreement will begin immediately while others will commence in January and March 2021 as decided by both sides.

ASUU however said it bent over backwards again to accommodate the Federal Government’s pleadings and if things do not work according to plans, Nigerians must query the government and not ASUU.

The issues in dispute between ASUU and the FGN are; Funding for revitalization of Public Universities; Payment of Earned Academic Allowances; Reconstitution of the 2009 FGN/ASUU re-negotiation Committee; University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative to IPPIS; and payment of withheld salaries and remittance of check off dues.

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