The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned the Federal Government that lecturers may have to resume its recently suspended strike if their agreement are not honored by the FG.
March 2020, ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike over the breach of agreements the FG reached with it in 2009. It had raised concerns about Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and funding for public universities, opposed the adoption of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and presented the University Accountability Solution (UTAS) as an alternative payroll software.
December 2020, ASUU suspended its nine months old strike with a note of warning that another strike could ensue if the Nigerian government reneges on the agreement it has with the lecturers.
On Monday, the union said the Federal Government had failed to honour its agreement on payment of the outstanding salaries of members ranging from five to eight months, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and check-off dues illegally deducted before December 31, 2020.
The Chairman of the University of Ilorin chapter of the union, Ajao Moyosore, on Tuesday said the strike was never called off but suspended.
He said: "It was even a conditional suspension. Though not all the demands are to be met by December 31 but some demands were supposed to be met by December 31 based on the timeline, based on the MOU.
"They are supposed to have released our Earned Academic Allowance by 31st of December but as of today, they have yet to fulfil all those ones. Our December salary is still outstanding; they have yet to pay the EAA."
However, Ben Goong, the ministry of education’s spokesperson, expressed concerns about the union’s demands. He also wondered why lecturers would be at home for nearly a year yet demand for salary arrears.
“What fears are we talking about when ASUU has been on strike for one year? Have they even resumed? What is the definition of salary? Salary is payment for work done. Has anyone done any job anywhere?” Goong asked.
“We say these things because we’re in Nigeria. Elsewhere, nobody sits at home and comes back to claim salary.
“How can anybody be at home one year, yet, say ‘pay me salary arrears’? It can never be a salary. You might be paid some money but it can not be a salary. I expect journalists to be the ones asking ASUU these questions.
“There should be an in-depth analysis where journalists are the ones asking the government not to pay salaries for work not done. ASUU has been on strike for one year and hasn’t even returned to work.
“On what to expect, you have to find out from ASUU’s leadership. The federal government didn’t declare any strike. If they’re continuing or if they will call off as promised, that is what you should be asking, not about salary arrears".
Related Search: ASUU Suspends strike, lecturers may resume