ASUU asks Tinubu to pay lecturers’ 8 months withheld salaries
THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the new administration of President Bola Tinubu to without further delay ensure payment of the eight months withheld salaries of the lecturers on the account of “the 2022 patriotic strike action triggered by Government’s failure” to honour agreements reached with the Union.
ASUU has also asked the new government to put machinery in motion for the speedy conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN Agreement following the recommendations of the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee to restore the integrity of the Nigeria University System.
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said ASUU held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno, State from Saturday 19th to Sunday 20th August 2023 and discussed several issues affecting the Nigerian University System (NUS) and the nation at large.
The lecturers have also kicked against the dissolution of the Governing Councils of Federal Universities by President Tinubu, saying this violated the extant laws establishing the institutions and called for the reinstatement of members of the Councils to allow for the smooth running of the universities.
Osodeke noted that the NEC of ASUU expressed serious concerns over the non-release of almost eight months’ salaries of university academics withheld on account of the 2022 patriotic strike action triggered by the Government’s failure to implement the December 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) and its truncation of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement.
While noting that there was no justification for the non-release of the withheld salaries, Osodeke reiterated that the application of the anti-labour “No-Work-No-Pay” policy to academics ignored the indisputable facts that only the teaching component of academics’ work was suspended during the strike action.
“NEC sadly noted the recent anti-people, draconian policies of the government that has brought millions of Nigerians to their knees and crippled businesses.
“We note that the expectation of democratic dividends which heralded civilian rule in 1999 has almost evaporated, as more Nigerians are daily gasping for breath under the suffocating grips of an insensitive, parasitic, corrupt and rent-seeking ruling class.
“NEC restates its avowed view that democratic culture can only take roots in an atmosphere of deliberate efforts to make life more meaningful for the citizenry, not a situation that daily expands the army of the poor, the unemployed, the hungry, and the miserable Nigerians.
“Lastly, ASUU calls on the new administration to save our nation by rejecting the pervasive neo-liberal policies that have brought untold hardship on academics, the working class, and all underprivileged Nigerians since the days of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the military regime in the 1980s.
“Nigeria must prioritize human development through adequate funding of education and health without the meddlesome dictations of the World Bank and IMF.
“And, beyond palliatives, the Federal Government must immediately develop local capacities in the up and down stream sectors of the oil and gas industry as well as renovate the old refineries and construct new ones because of their multiplier effects on the entire economy and the nation,” ASUU stated.