Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano, Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo and Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Kano zone yesterday faulted the claim that 55 per cent of its members enrolled into the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).
This is as Chairman, ASUU in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, branch, Dr. Biodun Olaniran, yesterday, dismissed Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, saying he goofed by declaring the strike by the union illegal. Their activity has already grounded the institution.
Also, ASUU, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife has aligned itself with the ASUU NEC and resolved to embark on two weeks warning strike from March 9 to 22nd, 2020 to press home its demand for renegotiation of 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement.
The Zonal Chairman of the union in Kano, Dr. Mahmoud M. Lawal told reporters yesterday that the claim of the federal government that 55 per cent of its members were enrolled into the IPPIS was false.
The Chairman challenged the federal government to provide the accurate statistics of those who enrolled into the IPPIS, pointing out that over 80 per cent from the university strata were yet to enroll.
He lamented that the government was yet to pay its members their February, as well as March salaries, adding that non-remittance of their members deductions, was a clear indication that government was inviting another round of crisis in the university system and should not be blamed for any unpalatable consequences that may arise.
‘’The threat to stop the salaries of our members will not only make them more resolute but determined to fight this matter to a logical conclusion. Nigerians, especially the students, parents and other stakeholders should know who to blame as the situation becomes protracted and prepare for a long stay at home.’’
He also reaffirmed the union’s position on the full implementation of the 2009 Federal Government/ASUU agreement, insisting that it would not join the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The Kano zonal ASUU office comprising, ABU, BUK, KUST, KASU, Federal University Dutse and Yusuf Maitama Sule University, said the ASUU would continue to remain resolute on the issue of IPPIS, warning that any attempt but the government to dictate what happens in the university system erodes the autonomy of our universities by making them incapable of delivering on their mandate of teaching, research and community service.
The union, he said has made it clear that its members would continue to resist the violation of the universities miscellaneous amendment Act through IPPIS, which was riddled with fraud, as well as a constitutional drain, on the scarce resources of the Nigerian state.
The Chairman, said the only way out of this current crises, was for the federal government to implement all the outstanding provisions in the February 7, 2019 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action, conclude the re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement within three weeks, as well as constitute a Visitation Panel to all federal universities and the outcome be fully implemented.
Other demands, include, to accept the ASUU ongoing innovation of a more robust system of human resource management and compensation, called the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which will address the peculiarities of universities, including the declaration of a five-year state of emergency in the education sector by allocating at least 26 per cent of the federal government, budget, as well as the state government to education.
Chairman of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife chapter, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun in a statement signed yesterday and made available to THISDAY said other matters including 2013 MoU, 2017 MoA, payment of February salaries and remittance of all third party deductions for the month of January.
He said the OAU Congress resolved to adhere strictly to the directives of NEC on the strike and encourages members not to participate in any academic and administrative activities on campus during the period of the strike.
The LAUTECH ASUU boss who dismissed Ngige as sounding like a broken record declared that the union had promised to activate NO PAY No Work anytime government stopped her members’ salaries, but hinted that the warning strike was more about the failure of the federal government to fully implement agreement it reached with the union.
Olaniran in a release on the ongoing strike made available to THISDAY in Ibadan, stated that examinations and lectures had been grounded in LAUTECH.
He said reducing the warning strike by the government to IPPIS alone amounted to corruption because according to him, unimplemented Memorandum of Action signed with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was a major reason behind the strike.
Olaniran said lecturers at LAUTECH had stopped lectures, supervision and withdrew their participation at statutory meetings while faulting the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who claimed ASUU should take into consideration the dwindling resources of the nation and return to work.
The LAUTECH ASUU chairman further stated that the National Assembly ordered for the latest cars for its members and contributed to capital flight spending billions to purchase vehicles not adding to Nigeria’s development.
According to him, “Today, this National Assembly will move motion to take care of terrorists and use money generated by conforming Nigerians to train terrorists abroad. But they find it difficult to take care of our institutions. Why is it difficult to fund education? Why must they do everything abroad? It is corruption and because of what they will gain from transacting dollar.
“We signed MOA with this government and they refused to fully implement it. Our schools are not what they should be. Lecturers are using their blood to run the system but all those in power have their kids trained abroad. This is the wickedness of the principalities ruling Nigeria. IPPIS cannot overshadow our genuine struggle but if FG fails to pay our salary having worked we have activated the NO PAY NO WORK.”