Despite the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his call for the striking lecturers to resume work and end the strike once and for all. Meanwhile, the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA) has announced that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is undergoing another round of tests.
Academic Staff Union of Universities
Almost two months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities embarked on a nationwide strike, the Federal Government has finally addressed the issue of withholding salaries. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Festus Kayamo, said the union was fixed on a salary package which he claimed was unreasonable. However, the union maintained it was a “factually misleading” position.
The Federal Government is planning to use a single payment platform to pay its employees, which will harmonise the technical peculiarities of the platform. But the union has issues with the platform, and the white paper it is using to promote transparency and accountability.
The National Industrial Court of Abuja ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities to stop its strike and resume work. The court ruled on a motion of notice filed by the Federal Government.
University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is undergoing another round of tests by the National Information Technology Agency (NITDA)
UTAS, the locally developed system, is undergoing another round of tests by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The test is the third in a series of integrity tests conducted on the system. This test comes after UTAS failed two previous integrity tests.
ASUU, which began its strike on February 14, has demanded that the Federal Government meet its obligations under the 2009 ASUU-FG agreement. This includes the payment of outstanding arrears, as well as the implementation of the 2009 renegotiation of the Agreement. It also demands that the Federal Government implement the University Transparency and Accountability Solution. It is demanding that the Federal Government use UTAS instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) that is used by other government employees.
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his call for the striking lecturers to return to the classroom
Despite the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his call for the lecturers to resume lectures. He said the’strike’ is taking a toll on the psychological well-being of Nigerian students. He assured the striking lecturers that the Federal Government would not relent in meeting their demands.
He said that the government is still mobilising resources within and outside the country to fund education. He said that the state of the nation is largely dependent on the quality of education. He added that a skilled citizen will drive economic growth. He promised to meet with universities and the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to hammer out a resolution to the dispute.
ASUU’s lawyer opposes jettisoning the stay of execution of the Industrial Court order
During a meeting with the Federal Government last Thursday, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) made a plea to end the strike. He also said he has no regrets over the three unions in Nigeria. He asked the federal government to properly fund education and to end the strike.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike on February 14, 2022. It is a trade union of university lecturers. In the course of the dispute, the Federal Government dragged ASUU to court at the Abuja Division of the Industrial Court.
On December 15, the Academic Staff Union of Universities sought to challenge the legality of the National Industrial Court’s order restraining it from embarking on an industrial action. The union had filed an application for permission to appeal and for a stay of execution of the ruling. The application was accompanied by a proposed notice of appeal.
ASUU’s main demands are met
Despite the Federal Government of Nigeria’s claims to have met 80 percent of the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) demands, most of the items on the list remain unresolved. The University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is not deployed and IPPIS, an alternative payroll software developed by the union, failed to pass integrity tests.
The government has also rejected a 35 per cent salary hike for lecturers. It has not released a white paper on visitation panels to federal universities.
ASUU’s main demands include: signing the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of N1.1 trillion for public universities within five years, release of N200 billion into the education sector every year starting from 2014, and a list of remuneration for senior lecturers. Other items on the list include exemptions for lecturers from general payment terms for public servants and funding for school infrastructure improvements.
ASUU’s struggle is having an impact
During the past two decades, university teachers have gone on 16 nationwide strikes. These include the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in 1994, the Federal Polytechnic Nekede strike in 2003, and the Obafemi Awolowo University strike in 2006. The ASUU strikes have impacted negatively on students.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities is the most prominent trade union in Nigeria. It was formed in 1978, and covers academic staff in several universities across the country.
In 1988, ASUU organized a national industrial action against the military government. ASUU was proscribed. The National Universities Commission took over the power of monitoring the academic programmes of universities.