ASUU Pleads With FG To Save Public Universities From Total Collapse, Threatens Another Strike

Daud Olatunji 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has issued an urgent plea to President Bola Tinubu, urging him to sign and implement the renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement. 

The Coordinator of ASUU’s Lagos Zone, Professor Adelaja Odukoya, made the appeal during a press briefing held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University in Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.

  According to Prof. Odukoya, addressing these issues promptly could prevent the nation’s universities from facing imminent collapse and avert another round of avoidable industrial action driven by the deteriorating conditions of service for lecturers.

“By not signing and implementing the renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement since 2021 after it was concluded and which both Government and ASUU committed massive resources to at the time, the government has tasked the ASUU’s patience beyond bearable limit,” Prof. Odukoya stated.

 He called on the Tinubu-led Federal Government to initiate immediate steps towards the agreement’s implementation to avoid further industrial crises.

The Union has highlighted several critical issues needing urgent government intervention, including poor funding and the proliferation of state and federal universities, the non-release of monthly subventions, irregular payment of staff salaries, dilapidated infrastructure, and the non-payment of check-off and other third-party deductions.

 Odukoya decried the practice of turning university establishment into constituency projects, stating, “For the umpteenth time, our Union again calls the attention of the public to the insincere proliferation and mushrooming of universities by both the Federal Government and Visitors to State Universities.”

Speaking on  the financial hardships faced by its members, ASUU lamented the non-payment of three and a half months’ salaries and the arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) since 2020.

Odukoya  said  “our Union unequivocally condemns this callous, unprogressive, destructive, anti-labour, and inhuman act and demands the unconditional payment of all withheld salaries and arrears of EAA of our members.”

The Union views IPPIS as a conduit for centralised corruption imposed by international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank.

The union said despite government pronouncements on the universities’ exit from IPPIS, there has been a deliberate refusal by officials to migrate the University Payroll System away from IPPIS. 

The union said “we still insist that IPPIS is a cesspit of centralized corruption by government officials forcefully imposed and foisted on the Nigerian State,” Prof. Odukoya reiterated.

The press conference saw attendance from the chairmen of seven university branches within the Lagos zone, including Prof. Kayode Adebayo (University of Lagos), Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi (Lagos State University, Ojo), Dr. Akolade Lapite (Lagos State University of Education), Dr. Tayo Okulaja (Lagos State University of Technology), Dr. Gbenga Akinleye (Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta), Dr. Wale Ositoye (Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun), and Dr. Wasiu Olooto (Olabisi Onabanjo University).

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