ASUU Decries Suspension Of Governing Councils’ Inauguration


Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned that the suspension of the inauguration of governing councils of universities could trigger widespread disorder within the academic community.

The union said the delay by the federal government in setting up the councils had undermined governance structures, potentially leading to administrative paralysis and academic setbacks.

The Federal Ministry of Education had on Sunday announced the postponement of the inauguration and retreat for pro-chancellors, chairmen and members of the governing councils of federal tertiary institutions, earlier scheduled for Thursday, May 30 and Friday, May 31, 2024.

However, addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the zonal coordinator of ASUU, Abuja zone, Dr. Salahu Mohammed Lawal, said the indecision of the government would prolong instability on campuses and further plunge the universities into avoidable crisis.

“We, therefore, restate our demand for reinstating governing councils whose tenures are yet to elapse and reconstitute those whose tenures have elapsed so that our universities can run under their laws.

“ASUU shall do all within its powers to ensure that the dignity of the academia is fully restored in line with practices obtainable in forward-looking climes.”

The union called on the Federal Governments of Nigeria to reinstate the process of reviewing the renegotiated Nimi Briggs Committee agreement and have it signed and implemented within a short period

It also demanded the immediate release of arrears of earned academic allowances, promotion arrears, third-party deductions, and Withheld Salaries and concrete implementation of total exit from IPPIS without further delay.

“The union feels betrayed that the federal government has not paid the arrears of the earned academic allowances (EAA,) especially since a portion of the allowances was captured in the 2023 Budget.

“Another area of disagreement between ASUU and the FGN has been the refusal of the government to respect its laws and to honor agreements it reached freely with the union. The forceful enrollment of all federal universities onto the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System platform (IPPIS), which ASUU rejected, grossly violates university autonomy and usurps the powers of universities governing councils.


“We are surprised that over four months after the FGN realised the inadequacies of the platform and ordered the exit of tertiary institutions from it our members are now being curiously paid under the “New IPPIS” platform,” he added.


In Akwa Ibom State, ASUU has carpeted the federal government over non-commitment to the welfare of staff and brazen negligence of the university system, thereby leaving the major planks of teaching, research and manpower development roles of the University in the doldrum.


The lecturers drawn from the Calabar Zone of ASUU, comprising Cross River, Abia, Ebony and Akwa Ibom States, rose from their meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, with a resolution seeking the renegotiation of the agreement, proper funding of universities and reinstatement of the governing councils of the universities.


Other demands included immediate scrapping of the federal government’s  loan scheme for students, the recall of suspended lecturers of Ebonyi State University, university autonomy, complete payment of the withheld salaries and immediate halt to proliferation of Universities without commensurate functionality and viability.


Addressing a press conference at the end of the summit at Mellany Hotel, Uyo yesterday, the zonal chairperson, Dr. Happiness Uduk, vowed that the union would stop at nothing to call out its members to down tools if the federal government fails to heed their set of demands aimed at repositioning the system.


She said: “It’s unfortunate that as a country, we have neither respect for the people nor the honour to respect promises and agreement. A government that does not keep to its promises, that does consider the plights of its electorates, that doesn’t obey court orders, that doesn’t listen nor consider the people in its policies is a tyrannical  government.


“You would recall that ASUU had reached an agreement with the government in 2009, and was supposed to be reviewed three years later, but for 15 years now, that agreement has not been fully implemented, let alone reviewed.


“We, therefore, urged this government to quickly convene a committee to review the agreement reached by ASUU leadership and Prof. Nimi Briggs – led federal government committee to further look at the document, adjust it according to the current economic realities so as to have acceptable salary structure for University lecturers.,” she stressed.

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