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ASUU-NAU Protests Non Adoption Of Nimi Briggs Committee Report, Unpaid Over 3 Years Salary Arrears, Others

.Threatens Another Strike
By Chikaodi Chukwuleta
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) Branch, has made a passionate call on the Federal Government to take immediate and decisive actions to adopt the Nimi Briggs Committee Report, and address other critical issues affecting members.
 Chairperson of the branch, Professor Kingsley Ubaorji, who addressed a press conference which preceded the protest march held today, said the  adoption of  the Nimi Briggs Committee Report was based on the spirit of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement.
Ubaorji noted that the Nigerian Academics’ salaries and allowances should be reviewed to meet the present realities, adding that 14 years without reviewing their salary was a punishment not deserving for Nigerian academics, and called for  funding and revitalization of public universities based on the FGN-ASUU MOU of 2012, 2013, and the MOA of 2017.
The Professor equally called for the release of the 3½ months of the withheld salaries of members of ASUU for services already rendered and the Payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), which was captured in the 2023 Federal Budget, even as he called for the release of unpaid salaries of staff on sabbatical, adjunct, etc., due to the incompatibility of IPPIS to the Nigerian University System, as well as the release of third-party deductions, which IPPIS was illegally withholding.
  Other demands include reinstatement of the Governing Councils in Federal and State Universities, which were dissolved unlawfully, adoption and implementation of UTAS in place of IPPIS in Nigerian Universities, putting a stop to the unbridled proliferation of public universities and implementation of the Reports of the Visitation Panels
  “If the FGN sets its priorities right, all these could be resolved amicably, without any industrial action. But the truth is that the government appears to have been treating these issues with some fun, which our union finds unacceptable.
  “Although the federal government held a meeting with the union last week after more than a year of inaction, we, as a union, want to see necessary actions taken to resolve these lingering issues, which have grave consequences to the Nigerian University System.
“As a union, we have therefore resolved to engage the media to sensitize the public on the failure of the government to address all the outstanding issues with ASUU. Our union remains committed to advocating for the rights and welfare of academic staff and the overall improvement of the Nigerian University System,” he said.
He further recalled that the government had made commitments and signed agreements with ASUU, detailing timelines and expectations of both parties aimed at developing the Nigerian Universities as conditions for suspending any strike action.
  ‘As soon as Lecturers resumed, the government and other stakeholders returned to status quo. ASUU would again start writing letters and reminders to the government, which were most often ignored, resulting in another strike action by ASUU.
 ‘It may interest the general public, especially Nigerian Students, to know that through ASUU struggles, Nigerians have enjoyed the following benefits: Regulated/subsidised tuition fees, the establishment of TETFund and NEEDS Assessment funds that have sponsored critical infrastructural projects in our universities, including lecture classrooms, office blocks, roads, hostels, electricity, etc, purchase of laboratory equipment, as well as the implementation of a reviewed salary structure for lecturers (last reviewed 2009), partial payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), Non-victimisation of devoted union members and other victories were made possible by ASUU struggles and strike actions”.
According to him, the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement had been a recurrent decimal in all ASUU industrial actions since 2009 and no government had taken the renegotiation seriously, but during the life of the past administration, negotiation came to a conclusion with the Nimi Briggs Committee.
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