Weeks after putting an end to their nine-month-old strike, lecturers in Nigerian varsities have accused the Federal Government of defaulting on the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
This was made known in a statement. The teachers said the government was yet to pay their December salaries, while “illegal” deductions were still to be refunded. In the release, the union said the government had “again failed to honour 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.”
Remember that university lecturers had embarked on strike in March 2020 over government’s refusal to honour the agreement reached with ASUU in 2009 that revolves around university revitalisation, improved funding and infrastructure development. Also, they registered displeasure against government’s introduction of an alternative payment platform, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), insisting the initiative was at variance with university autonomy and therefore directed members not to enrol on the platform.
Later in December 2020, The strike was conditionally suspended following the intervention of stakeholders and government’s directive to suspend implementation of the controversial IPPIS for lecturers.
But Dr Dele Ashiru, chairman, UNILAG chapter of ASUU, told Media reporters that successive administrations have always failed to honour agreements with the union. He said the government made some promises before the protracted industrial action was suspended but regretted that the current administration had allegedly failed to its part of the bargain.
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.”