The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that it will not back down on the strike by members of the union across the country, which is currently in its fifth month.
ASUU National President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, stated this on Tuesday while briefing reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Lecturers in government-owned universities embarked on a nationwide strike on February 14 over the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector.
They had also decried the poor funding of universities, non-payment of salaries and allowances of some of their colleagues, as well as the inability of the government to pay earned academic allowance to lecturers, among other issues.
Since the industrial action began, several negotiations between the union and the government have ended in deadlock.
Amid outcry over the effect of the industrial action on the nation’s tertiary education sector, various individuals and groups have asked the government to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
In his briefing on Tuesday in the nation’s capital, Professor Osedeke said the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige should be blamed for the present situation.
Comrades and compatriots of the Press,
It has become imperative for us in the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to update Nigerians and lovers of education everywhere in the world on the status of our ongoing nationwide strike action which began on 14th February 2022. The need for doing so could be traced to two sources. First, as a union of intellectuals that deals with facts and verifiable claims, there is need to put the records straight on our engagements with the government.
This need becomes very compelling against the backdrop of the statements recently pushed out from the government quarters. Specifically, there have been insinuations by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that there was no agreement between ASUU and the government; that ASUU sat down to fix its own members’ salaries; and that our Union asked representatives of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to recuse themselves from the negotiations.
Also, it appears that Dr. Ngige has deliberately misrepresented the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) convention on the collective bargaining agreement and the roles of a conciliator to serve his propagandist interest in this matter.