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Thursday, July 18, 2024

ASUU threatens indefinite strike over poor funding, others

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked the Federal Government to address the underfunding challenges and other lingering issues crippling universities’ performance, to avoid another disruption of academic activities across the country.

The lecturers stated that inadequate funding of the Nigerian institutions to achieve quick revitalization, a review of the 2009 agreement, and other major issues.

The Chairman of the ASUU chapter in Federal University, Gashua, Yobe State, Melemi Abatcha, made the threat on Thursday while addressing newsmen in Damaturu, the state capital.

“Funding for revitalisation of Nigeria public universities i.e. improved infrastructure, conducive teaching/learning environments, students and staff accommodation, equipping of laboratories and libraries.  Consequently, the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities have remained on the same salary structure since 2009.

“Even with the directive of Federal Executive Council (FEC) for removal of ASUU from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform since December 2023 till now, ASUU members are still being paid via the obnoxious platform (IPPIS),” he added.

Other issues they listed by the union include university autonomy, the proliferation of public universities, the backlog of earning academic allowances amounting to N50bn, and the withheld three and half months’ salaries of its members across the country.

Melemi also explained that the removal of the fuel subsidy without credible alternatives has brought untold hardship on the people, adding that it would not want to compound it with yet another disruption of academic activities.

The union also called on FG to show sensitivity to the plight of Nigerians by speedily agreeing and implementing an acceptable living wage for Nigerian workers to assuage the suffering of Nigerians.

The warning came amid an ongoing battle between FG and the labour unions over a new minimum wage.

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