ASUU Raises Concerns Over Non-Release Of Lecturers’ Eight Months Salaries, Others
Written by Adeola Ibrahim on August 25, 2023
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed concerns over the non-release of almost eight months’ salaries of university academics withheld on account of its 2022 strike action.
According to a statement signed by the ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, this is one of the many issues affecting the Nigerian University System (NUS) as discussed by the union during its National Executive Council meeting at the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State from Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th August 2023.
He said that the ASUU NEC reiterated that “the application of the anti-labour ‘No-Work-No-Pay’ policy to academics ignores the indisputable facts that (i) only the teaching component of academics’ work was suspended during the strike action, and (ii) with the suspension of the strike through interventions by the then Hon. Speaker of Federal House of Representatives (now Chief of Staff to Mr. President and Visitor to Federal Universities), Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and other well-meaning Nigerians, the academics have made up for the lost ground under the most excruciating economic conditions”.
The union commended Nigerian academics for their courage, resilience, and determination to weather through the economic, social, and emotional storms unleashed on them due to their unpaid salaries.
ASUU attributed its past strike actions to the failure of successive governments to honour agreements and memoranda arrived at through the collective bargaining principle enunciated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and domesticated in Nigeria’s labour law.
It, therefore, called on the President Bola Tinubu government to put machinery in motion for the speedy conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN Agreement following the recommendations of the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee to restore the integrity of the NUS.
ASUU acknowledged the ongoing efforts to make the Federal Government release the withheld salaries of academics and implored its national leadership, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and all true patriots to spare no efforts in this respect.
The union believes that payment of the withheld salaries would go a long way to shore up the sagging morale of Nigerian university teachers.
ASUU also regretted that its members are owed several months of promotion arrears arising from distortions traceable to the forceful enrolment of academics on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) platform.
It noted that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) has failed to address the issue despite several efforts by the union and university administrations.
Consequently, ASUU called on the OAGF to ensure the immediate release of the backlog of promotion arrears to its members in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.
The statement further read, “NEC was disturbed by reports of massive employment racketeering perpetuated by operators of the discredited IPPIS, including scandalous revelations at the recent sittings of House of Representatives Probe Panel on IPPIS.
“NEC observed that the unsavoury trend has eroded university employment tradition in violation of the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2003, and Guidelines for Appointments and Promotions of individual universities. ASUU rejects all illegal appointments sponsored by the IPPIS and its agents in Nigerian public universities.