The Federal government has invited the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to an emergency meeting following the threat to embark on another round of strike.
The emergency meeting at the instance of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, is to hold tomorrow, the 6th of April 2021 at 11:00 am in the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.
Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Bem Goong, in a statement conveying this, on Monday, in Abuja, quoted the Minister as saying that the meeting was intended to nip the strike in the bud.
It will be recalled that ASUU has issued a notice of strike over what the union has described as the refusal of the government to implement some of the agreements entered into between the union and the Federal government.
ASUU had suspended its about 10-month-old strike in January this year, which some of the lecturers told Tribune Online that the call-off was on “sympathetic ground.”
It was gathered reliably that in spite of the agreement reached with ASUU before the prolonged strike was suspended, some lecturers have not been paid salaries since February 2020 while others have not received a dime from the beginning of this year.
A lecturer who said he was not in a position to speak for the ASUU, told Tribune Online in confidence that all ASUU loyalists who refused to enrol on the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) platform of the Federal Government have not been paid their salaries from January to date.
The source noted, however, that majority of the lecturers on the IPPIS platform, have received their salaries up-to-date, saying this was clearly in breach of the agreement reached with the Union as regards no victimisation clause.
It was gathered that this was why ASUU is angry and wants to return to trenches as the source said Government is claiming that there was no money anywhere to meet some of the demands of the Union.
“As I speak to you some lecturers have not received anything from February last year to date. Also, those of us who are ASUU loyalists not registered on IPPIS have not been paid from January till date.
“I think the leadership of ASUU is being diplomatic because Government claimed that there is no money anywhere and we as lecturers are sympathetic that students are at the receiving end.
“The strike was called off on sympathetic ground hoping that the goverment would respond positively, only for them to use propaganda to deceive people. They will deliberately omit some persons, that is what is happening,” the source said.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, had also accused the Federal government of failure to remit the deductions it made to the account of the Union.
He had also warned that if pushed to the limit, “withdrawal of work in the nearest future may be inevitable.”
Akinwole said while the government was paying outstanding five months salaries for those on the nominal role at an agonisingly slow pace, over 100 UI academic staff members were being owed salaries for between three to 10 months
He said, “The suspension of the strike was based on an agreement reached and a ‘Memorandum of Action’ signed in good faith between the government and ASUU at the stakeholders’ meeting held on Tuesday, 22nd December 2020.
“A major common position agreed to (and expected to be respected) by the government and ASUU was that nobody shall be victimised in any way whatsoever for his/her role in the process leading to the Memorandum of Action.”
According to him, while ASUU had remained faithful to the agreement by returning to classes and performing their respective duties, the Federal Government reneged on its part.