A couple of weeks after suspending their nine-month-old strike, Nigerian university lecturers have accused the Federal Government of not staying true to the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Revealing in their statement, the university lecturers said the government has not paid their December salaries, and “illegal” deductions were yet to be refunded.
In the release, the union said the government had “again failed to honor its agreement on payment of not only outstanding salaries of members ranging from five to eight months; Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and check off dues illegally deducted before December 31, 2020.”
The strike started in March 2020 when the lecturers had embarked on strike over government’s inability to honor the agreement reached with ASUU 12 years ago (2009). The agreement revolves around improved funding, infrastructure development and university revitalization,.
The body also rebelled against government’s introduction of an alternative payment platform, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), maintaining that the initiative was against the university autonomy and therefore instructed members not to enroll on the platform.
The strike was temporarily suspended after the intervention of stakeholders and government’s directive to suspend implementation of the controversial IPPIS for lecturers.
However, Dr Dele Ashiru, chairman, University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter of ASUU, informed The Guardian newspaper that successive administrations have always failed to stay true with their agreements with the union.
He said the government made some vows before the protracted industrial strike was suspended but regretted that the present administration had allegedly refused to stick their part of the bargain.
Dr Ashiru said: “For instance, the government failed to pay members’ illegally deducted salaries before December 31, 2020, and as of January 3, we are yet to receive December 2020 salary. Government promised to refund our illegally deducted check-off dues before December 31, 2020, but that has not been done as we speak. They promised to credit the Earned Academic Allowances account before December 31 and that also has not been done.”