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ASUU gives Tinubu 2-week ultimatum over economy, governing council constitution

ASUU to FG: Release promotion arrears or risk industrial action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities( ASUU) has threatened to embark on another strike that may disrupt activities in the tertiary schools, over President Bola Tinubu’s economic policies.

The Union charged Tinubu to act within two weeks from Tuesday, to address all outstanding demands, including delay in Constituting Governing Councils for the universities since assumption of office as President.

If the strike goes ahead, it will be the first industrial action since the Tinubu administration took over power on May 29, 2023.

The last time the union went on strike was in 2022 shortly before the end of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Emmanuel Osokode, while briefing Journalists at the ASUU headquarters, in Abuja on Tuesday, lamented the Union’s predicament, saying the living conditions of academics is getting worse.

Osodeke noted that the leadership of ASUU received alarming reports on failed promises of the Federal and State governments towards addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on the nationwide strike action of February to October 2022.

Osodeke noted that the National Executive Council of ASUU observed that there were no serious efforts to redress the ugly situation.

“Reports available to NEC indicate that an increasing number of Nigerian academics died while thousands of others are nursing life-threatening ailments occasioned by work-related stress, absolute pauperization and multidimensional insecurity,” Osodeke said.

Osodeke who faulted the salary increment approved by the Federal Government recently for academics said “Even with paltry salary award, the current take-home pay of a professor at bar is about $500 per month. In the face of a heightened tax regime, what a professor earns is about $400 per month which is a scandalous under-valuation of the scholarship.”

The body said it is immediately calling on the government to immediately set in motion the process that will lead to the review and signing of the Nimi Briggs-led renegotiated draft agreement as a mark of goodwill and assured hope for Nigerian public universities.

Speaking on the dissolution of the governing councils by the Federal Government 11 months ago, Osodeke urged the citizens to hold the government responsible, “if the matter of the Governing Councils is allowed to snowball into an avoidable industrial crisis.”

Osodeke also noted that the position of the union remains unchanged over the issue of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System popularly known as IPPIS.

ASUU condemned in strong terms the seeming refusal of federal and state governments to decisively address all outstanding issues with the union.

They also rejected all the ongoing illegalities and flagrant violation of university autonomy in public universities as a result of non-reinstatement of Governing councils.

According to him, ” NEC shall reconvene after two weeks from the date of the NEC meeting to review the situation and take a decisive action to address the issues.”