By Uche Amunike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said that the outstanding issues in the Memorandum of Action, MoA, of December 2020 and all subjects that point to the draft renegotiated agreement between their union and the federal government are to be signed by the end of August, otherwise, another strike action might follow.
This was disclosed by the National President of the Union, Comrade Victor Emmanuel Osedeke, at a press conference, Monday, in the Kwara State Capital, Ilorin during the National Executive Council meeting of the union which was held at the University of Ilorin.
He added that Nigerians should hold the Federal government responsible if they renege on their promise of tackling the issues in the MoA, saying that they should mount pressure on them in order to avoid another strike action by the union.
He maintained that the federal and state governments should attend to those issues with the urgency they deserved, in order to bring the peace and calm in university campuses and also sustain it.
He further expressed his displeasure at the failure of state governors who are obligated to fund, equip and staff the state Universities so as to ensure that they have the capacity to compete with their peers, both nationally and globally.
Judging from the declining fortunes of these state universities, Osedeke continued, they may end up collapsing beyond redemption, because of the myriad of issues bordering on the welfare and working relationship between ASUU and both the federal and state governments in the country.
He reiterated that state university owners should make enough budgetary provisions for staff development, payment of staff emoluments, capital and recurrent expenditure, starting with recurrent expenditure from 2022 budgets.
He demanded for provision of functional pension schemes in tandem with the 2014 Pension Act as well as payment of all salaries and allowances owed staff with plans for subsequent payments done on a regular basis.
He also requested that universities under the Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Act of 2012 be domesticated, if they haven’t yet been done.
He went on to charge the owners of state universities to consider paying all arrears that were deducted from third parties such as cooperative contributions, bank loans, pension deductions and check-off dues.
He condemned the issue of threats and victimization of ASUU members who speak out on behalf of the union, saying that it is within their rights to demand that the issues they speak against are addressed.
He spoke on the state of the nation, particularly the problem of insecurity which has really affected the education sector.
He made particular reference to the mysterious disappearance of a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Ilorin, just like some others before him whose disappearance are still yet to be solved.
He urged Nigerian rulers to look inwards and address the problem of corruption while applying intelligence to fight insecurity, advising them to seek home-grown solutions to the problems in the country, so as to ensure that other countries will take us seriously, globally.