The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Joint Action Committee, JAC, of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, have exposed the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government for lying to Nigerian Students, stating categorically that they did not reach any agreement with the Federal Government at their last minute, and they had no knowledge of any immediate plan to call off the lingering strike as claimed by the government, Page 36 learnt.
Recall, that all the University and Polytechnic Unions in the country are presently on strike.
ASUU resumed its strike on February 14, 2022, and the JAC commenced its on April 14, 2022, demanding improved welfare packages, better working conditions, and the implementation of various labour agreements signed with the Federal Government between 2009 and 2020.
Speaking on the recent claim by the Federal Government, the National Leaders of ASUU and JAC of SSANU and NASU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke and Mohammed Ibrahim, respectively, said that the Federal Government and all Stakeholders in the Education sector and Religious Leaders had a meeting with the four Unions, but no strong agreements were reached.
Recall, that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, was quoted in a report at the weekend, as saying: “We had a cordial and fruitful discussion; we looked at the issues dispassionately and reached some agreements, to the satisfaction of everybody in attendance.”
However, Osodeke stated that Dr. Ngige’s claim after the meeting that the Unions would call off the ongoing strike this week, was nothing but a political statement.
His exact words: “We are not aware that we are calling off the strike. We met, but there was nothing concrete between us and the government. Like we said before, we do not want promises, we want actions, if they show action and implement all the issues, we will go to our members, but knowing their antecedents, we know they will not do anything.
“They promised us since December 2020, and it is going to a year and a half, they have not done anything. We are waiting for them.
“As far as we are concerned, only when they sign our agreements, accept UTAS, release EAA and revitalisation funds, will we call the strikes off.”
Ibrahim added that the major progress he could point at during the meeting was the ordering of the National Information Technology Development Agency by the Presidency, who was represented by the Chief of Staff to the President and Chairman of the meeting, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to subject the three payment solutions: Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS; University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS; and University Peculiar Payroll Payment System, UPPPS; to integrity test and submit in three weeks.
“We are not talking about calling off strike now”, he stressed.
More news later…