Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Academic activities in the nation’s universities may soon be disrupted as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) wednesday came hard on the federal government, describing it as a serial defaulter and bad example for Nigerian youths.
The union also accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of eroding the trust people initially reposed in it to reposition the education system in the country.
THISDAY learnt that the union has begun nationwide mobilisation for an industrial action against the government over failed implementation of agreements.
ASUU Chairman in University of Ibadan, Prof. Deji Omole, while speaking with journalists after the union’s congress, lamented that despite the efforts at making Nigeria great through education, successive administrations have positioned themselves to make Nigeria retrogress.
He expressed the union’s unhappiness with government over its consistent failure to fully implement any of the agreements reached with ASUU, disclosing that the main conflicting areas are unfulfilled 2009 agreement, 2012 Memorandum of Understanding, 2013 Memorandum of Understanding, 2017 Memorandum of Action and 2019 memorandum of Action.
Omole maintained that the federal government has been paying lip service to funding public education, stating that government has failed to honour the sustainable funding agreement it reached with the union.
The ASUU boss listed the areas in dispute to include payment of outstanding balance of earned academic allowance up till 2018, unpaid annual salary increment, failure to activate the visitation panels to varsities and failure of government to commence renegotiation team.
He alleged: “Government is untrustworthy. The federal government is paying lip service to everything including education. Things are going worse than before. Its policies are ill-conceived, hence creating more problems than it can solve. Our members are being mobilised. They are to be at alert. This government is wicked. The government is impoverishing lecturers. With meagre amount being paid, some departments now beg lecturers to donate paper to run government business. IPPIS is a distraction. The government should honour our agreements to avert strike.”