THE Academic Staff Union of Universities has expressed its readiness to embark on another round of industrial action following what it called the failure of the Federal Government to implement an agreement signed with the union.
The union is giving the government till month end (Tuesday) to reach out or it will activate the procedure of embarking on strike.
The union’s President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, added that the FG no longer picked its calls.
Recall that in March 2020, ASUU embarked on a strike following its disagreement with the FG over the funding of the universities and the ineffectiveness and discrepancies around the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System and others.
ASUU, however, developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution to replace IPPIS and had several meetings with the Ministries of Finance, Education, Labour and Employment, and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation before it was approved but yet to be implemented.
Likewise, the FG and ASUU signed an agreement aimed at resolving some of the demands of ASUU, a development that led to the suspension of the strike on December 24, 2020.
In addition, after a meeting with the FG on August 2, 2021, Osodeke said the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency insisted that UTAS must be re-presented to the end users.
Also, at the meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, assured ASUU that the N22bn earned allowance captured in the 2021 supplementary budget would soon be accessed by university workers.
On the contrary, Osodeke told one of our correspondents on Sunday that the FG had stopped reaching out to ASUU and had failed to implement the agreement reached.
Due to government’s silence over their demands, Osodeke said the union would not hesitate to embark on a fresh strike to protest government’s failure.
He said, “The government has refused to reach out to us. Government officials have stopped. In fact, they don’t take our calls again. Nigerians should tell the government to do what they agreed to do.
“We signed an agreement and even in May, we reached a final agreement; this is August and nothing has been implemented. Does it make any sense? We are giving them till the end of August and after that, we start the procedures.