FG reveals next action if Nigerian lecturers fail to resume

The Minister of Labour and Employment , Dr Chris Ngige , has expressed optimism that the prolonged strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities will be resolved by next week when the Federal Government team meets the union leaders again.

He , however , said if the matter was not resolved by then , he would explore the provisions in the labour law and other channels.
Government had previously appealed to the union to call off the strike.

The union had on March 24 2020 embarked on an indefinite strike over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action between them as well as the lingering disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System that ASUU rejected.

Speaking on Politics Today on Channels Television on Friday , the minister said the government had met six of the union ’ s nine demands and that they would meet again next week with the hope of ending the prolonged strike.

He stated, “ Even if countries go to war , at the end of the day they come to the negotiation table . I ’ m inviting them ( ASUU) next week . We are doing side meetings on our part and we are collating everything . I ’ m collating responses from the Accountant General of the Federation ’ s Office and everybody who has something to do with this matter.

When asked if it meant that the lecturers may not return to the classrooms in the next one or two weeks, he said , “ I ’ m not looking at that (long ) period. I ’ m an optimist on this matter. By next week , we will conclude this matter.

” There are so many options left. We have the labour laws and I have options left to me in the labour laws . I have other channels. ”

The minister , who said his children had also been at home as a result of the strike , explained that government had agreed to give the University Transparency Academic Solution , the payment platform proposed by ASUU, a trial.

He however said the feedback he got from the National Information Technology Development Agency , the agency mandated to follow – up the trial with ASUU, showed they had just concluded the first phase and that the second phase to assess the functional requirement of UTAS had not been done.

He added, “ UTAS has yet to be ready but government will not discourage them . And we have told them there is no need using the same old method of strike to make demands since such had been deployed since 2017 . ”

On the revitalisation fund , he said government had agreed to release N 30 bn out of the N 40 bn demanded by the union as the payment for November 2019 and September 2020 , adding that the remaining N 10 bn would be staggered.

“ A committee that looked into the Needs Assessment of universities held a workshop on how funds could be generated came up with the recommendation that other things could be done to raise funds , because revitalisation cannot be done through the budget , especially when the country is running a deficit budget , ” Ngige added .


ASUU makes demands from Nigerian govt on Lekki shooting

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has urged the Federal Government to lead the way in restoring peace and justice in Nigeria.

ASUU also said that security operatives must be stopped from the senseless killing of armless youth protesters, while infiltrators must be brought under check through active intelligence.

The union said this in a statement posted on its Twitter handle on Friday while condemning the shooting of Nigerian youths by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.

The statement read in part: “The Federal Government must lead the way in restoring peace and justice in Nigeria.

“Security operatives must be stopped from the senseless killing of armless youth protesters while infiltrators must be brought under check through active intelligence.

“For obvious reasons of past betrayal, the youth are right to insist on seeing evidence of how well the government has met their five-point demand.

“It is only by the continuous engagement that this would happen, not by the deployment of trigger-happy military personnel as reportedly done in the case of the Lekki Toll Plaza.”


University of Uyo students protest on ASUU strike

The National Association of Nigeria Students, University of Uyo chapter, on Friday embarked on a peaceful demonstration, calling on the federal government and the Academic Staff Unions of Universities to resolve their differences and allow students return to school.

The protesters who blocked the Ikpa road of the Town Campus of the University as early as 9::30am gave the federal government seven days to accede to their request.

The students in their solidarity songs also threatened to shut down Aso Rock and the National Assembly if their requests are not met within the stipulated period.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read, “We want ASUU strike resolved now, “we are tired of staying at home” “our rent is wasting” We cannot wait anymore”

Addressing the students on the road, the zone D, NANS Coordinator and a mass communication student of UNIUYO, Mr. Etinyene Offongekpe, called for an immediate end of the protracted strike by ASUU.

“We are sending this message to the federal government and ASUU. We are tired of staying at home, our rents have expired. We want to return and complete the academic year. We cannot accept this anymore.

 We are under instructions from the NANS Secretariat to Shut down Abuja, seven days from now. We are mobilising to move to Abuja, we will shut the National Assembly and the Aso Rock” he said.

The President, Students Union government of the University, Comrade Emmanuel Akpan also called on President, Mohammed Buhari, the National Assembly, Minister of Education and all relevant authorities to settle their grievances with ASUU to save the education system from collapse.

“The Nigeria students are tired, I am tired, we are all tired. The final year students have been in final year for two years. It is unacceptable

“We are demonstrating to call on the federal government, the National Assembly, the senators, the minister and all relevant authorities to please settle grievances with ASUU and allow students to return back to school.” He said.


FG agrees to release N30 billion to striking lecturers

The Federal Government has agreed to release N30 billion earned academic allowance to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

The Government will pay the money in tranches between May 2021 and January 2022.

As part of the concession to end the seven-month strike, the government also pledged to spend N20bn on the revitalisation of the education sector.

These agreements were reached during the meeting between the Federal Government and the academic staff union leadership on Thursday.

At the yesterday’s meeting, the body of lecturers, insisted that the government should pay their outstanding salaries through GIFMIS before full implementation of University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, but the government insisted on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS

ASUU, also yesterday, directed all its members across universities in Nigeria to reject IPPIS officials coming to various campuses on Monday for biometric data capturing of its members.

This was contained in an official letter, signed by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, President of ASUU and sent to all zonal coordinators and all its members on Thursday.

The union vowed not to jeopardize the ongoing critical engagement with federal government.

In the letter, ASUU said it has been informed that IPPIS officials from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, will be going around university campuses from Monday 19th October, 2020.

ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi

“All ASUU members should have nothing to do with them. Fact-Check by ASUU with the figures from the OAGF has proven the claim that our members are trooping to enroll in the IPPIS in Abuja as false,” the letter said.

It further described the enrolled number as inconsequential.

ASUU said, “The leadership of our great Union is fully aware of the hardship the non-payment of salaries by the Accountant-General and other forms of intimidation by over-zealous Vice-Chancellors have unleashed on our membership and we are leaving no stone unturned to redress the situation.

“Therefore, all members of ASUU should STAY AWAY from anything related to IPPIS, so as not to jeopardize the ongoing critical engagement with the Federal Government.”

Education Local News News

ASUU vows to protect University autonomy with their blood

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, has vowed that they will protect university autonomy with the last drop of their blood.

Ogunyemi made this clear in a press statement made available to newsmen in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

The statement was titled “On President Buhari’s No IPPIS, No Salary” and Ogunyemi explained that the directive was meant for civil servants and not university lecturers.

The ASUU president revealed that on January 9, 2020, they reached an understanding with President Muhammadu Buhari, to develop the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which will be sensitive to the operations of the university system, accommodate perculiarities and respect autonomy.

ASUU National President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi

Ogunyemi also claimed ASUU has spent millions of naira to develop the UTAS, which has been presented to the Federal Ministry of Education.

“We are aware of the antics of bureaucrats, especially in the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, aimed at bringing universities under their control. ASUU will not fold its arms and watch the gains we made on the autonomy of Nigerian universities slip by.

“It took us several years of continuous struggle during the military to get here. So, let nobody hide under the name of President Muhammadu Buhari to attack the autonomy of public universities because Nigerian scholars are prepared to resist it to the last drop of their blood,” the statement read in part.