Saturday 12 February 2022

ASUU: Prevail on Buhari, FG to avert nationwide strike – ATBU urges traditional rulers, Nigerians


The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged religious leaders, traditional rulers and prominent Nigerians to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to implement all the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and Memorandum of Agreements (MoAs) entered into with the union.

This is even as the branch declared that “enough is enough” in the midst of total neglect and is ready for action and further expressed support for the resumption of the suspended nationwide strike, considering the fact that the Federal Government had exhibited lack of seriousness and will to address the lingering crisis between them.

These were made known to journalists in Bauchi shortly after the union’s congress, insisting that unless positive steps were taken, the strike action would resume and be even more total than previous ones. 

Addressing journalists in company of other union leaders in the institution, the ASUU branch chairman, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, informed that the body resolved to go along with its national body on the issue of strike, saying that they had had enough as the government was not sincere.

He lamented that despite government’s agreement with the union, lecturers have remained on the same salary since 2009, adding that they are going through a lot now with the current economic realities.

“The congress, just as it had done in the past three meetings, has asked us to inform the national body that it is ready to go along in the resuming of the strike action. Enough is enough since the government is not sincere with the union.

“Since 2009, members of ASUU have remained on the same salary grade level. The agreement is that promotion shall be based on the current exchange rate of the Dollar. You can imagine what we are going through now considering the economic situation,” Inuwa said.

He added that many of members have not been paid their salaries for as much as 12 months due to the inadequacy of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), submitting that this has brought untold hardship to the lecturers.

The Federal Government, Inuwa said, had always reneged on the release of earned allowance to universities, a development he said had put lecturers in a more difficult situation as they tried to perform their duties.

The ASUU branch chairman, informed that the Federal Government was yet to release the N1.5 trillion universities revitalisation funds as agreed.

According to him, since the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan released N200billion, the President Buhari-led administration only released paltry sums which had not even gone round the public universities.

He lamented that despite its inability to fulfil its part of the various MoUs and MoAs signed with the union, the Federal Government has increased charges being paid by students.

“While the government is paying lip service and dragging feet on the implementation of the MoUs and MoAs, it went ahead to increase students’ charges claiming that the system will collapse if the charges remained what they were. Who is fooling who?

“It is wrong for anyone to say that ASUU is insensitive to the problem the strike will have on the academic lives of the students. We too are feeling the pain. The situation is just beyond our control,” he said.

He then called on the President to be sincere in implementing the various MoUs and MoAs instead of calling on ASUU to rescind its decision of going on another nationwide strike.

“Mr President too should be sincere in implementing the various MoUs and MoAs in order to have stability in the tertiary education sector. We are tired of deceit and empty promises,” he declared.

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