The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, says its agitations and actions over the years were premised on six cardinal demands.
Prof. Theophilus Lagi, Abuja Zonal Coordinator of the union, at a press conference in Gwagwalada on Thursday, listed the demands to include more funding for public universities and renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
Others included the payment of outstanding earned academic allowances, the proliferation of universities by state governments and the constitution of Visitation Panels to Federal Universities.
According to him, the university teachers are also against “the planned forceful imposition of IPPIS on universities”, and the failure of the federal government to pay February 2020 salaries.
“These issues have been agreed upon by the federal government and ASUU via several memoranda which aggregated the cardinal arguments of the previous 2013, MoU, 2017, MoA, and the February 7, 2019 MoA.
“Unfortunately, these noble initiatives proposed by our union and accepted by the federal government for the upliftment of Nigeria education have remained contentious because they have not been addressed
“ASUU also wants the federal government to declare a five-year State of Emergency in the education sector during which at least 20 per cent of the budget and same percentage of states’ budgets should be allocated to education,” Mr Lagi said.
He said that the current action was also a call on the federal government to welcome ASUU’s innovative alternative to IPPIS – the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, – which would address the peculiarities of universities.
He called on parents, students and well-meaning Nigerians to understand that ASUU’s warning strike was to salvage the already decayed university system and the future of Nigerian children.
“The derailment by government from the principles of those interventions has led to the current deficiency and decay we see on our campuses.
“This is compounded by the unnecessary meddlesomeness in the internal administrative procedures and processes of our universities by the government and its agents.
“We want the nation to understand that our opposition to the implementation of IPPIS in our universities is a patriotic action because the scheme is a bastion of fraud that permits the enrolment of ghost workers.
“We, in the Abuja Zone, have resolved to prosecute this strike to its logical conclusion and what we are doing is to salvage the already decayed university system and the future of our children,” he claimed.
Recall that university lecturers embarked on a two weeks warning strike on March 9.