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ASUU Raises Alarm Over Government’s “Failed Promises

The Academic Staff Union of Universities said it is alarmed, going by the reports it received on the failed promises of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration towards addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on a recent nationwide strike.

The union’s National President, Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed this at a press conference in Umuahia, Abia State, on Wednesday, after its National Executive Council meeting held at the Niger Delta University, during the weekend.

Osodeke said, “The union undertook a comprehensive review of the state of its engagements with Federal and State Governments on how to reposition Nigeria’s public universities for a global reckoning by arresting the worsening living and working conditions in the universities and the nation at large.

“NEC was seriously alarmed by reports of the increasing number of Nigerian academics who have died or are currently nursing life-threatening ailments as a result of work-related stress and chronic pauperisation arising from failed promises by the governments and the general macroeconomic climate of the country and stated its desire to update Nigerians on developments since the suspension of our last national strike action on Friday, 14 October 2022 and our engagements with the current administration since its inception”.

ASUU, Osodeke said, therefore, reviewed its “renegotiation of FGN/ASUU 2009 agreement, withheld salary, arrears of earned academic allowances, illegal dissolution of governing councils, Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, core curriculum minimum academic standard, proliferation of universities, victimisation and threats at Federal University of Technology, Owerri; TETFund intervention, underfunding of universities, and deepening socio-economic crisis”.

Osodeke said that the “FGN/ASUU agreement was in 2009. The union has been without a renegotiated agreement with the FGN for 15 years.”

Osodeke said the Federal Government has lately been evasive on payment of the backlog of the Earned Academic Allowances part of which was captured in the 2023 Budget for federal universities.

He added, “ASUU wonders why it must take another round of strike action to get the government to release lecturers’ entitlements that are already captured in the budget as made available to the union by Gbajabiamila.”

Osodeke added, “NEC reviewed the deepening socio-economic crisis which has worsened the insecurity situation in the country. While calling on the government to accelerate the process of arriving at a minimum living wage as demanded by the NLC, and NEC. calls on the Nigerian government to urgently review all IMF/World Bank sponsored economic policies which are increasingly degrading the quality of life of Nigerians.”

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