In a plea directed at President Bola Tinubu, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called for the swift resolution of a pressing issue – the release of eight months’ worth of withheld salaries for lecturers.
The salaries were withheld due to the 2022 patriotic strike action that ensued following the government’s failure to honor agreements with the Union.
ASUU, has therefore, urged the president to take immediate action towards concluding the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN Agreement.
The request is aligned with the recommendations of the Nimi Briggs Committee, with the aim of restoring integrity to the Nigeria university system.
In a statement released on Thursday in Abuja, ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, revealed that the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting took place at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, from August 19th to August 20th, 2023.
The gathering delved into numerous issues affecting both the Nigerian University System (NUS) and the nation as a whole.
Expressing their concerns, ASUU has voiced objections to the dissolution of the governing councils of federal universities by President Tinubu.
This move, they argue, “infringes upon the established laws governing these institutions.”
ASUU has demanded the reinstatement of council members to ensure the seamless functioning of the universities.
Osodeke emphasised that “the NEC of ASUU remains deeply troubled by the continued withholding of nearly eight months’ worth of salaries for university academics.”
This withholding stems from the 2022 patriotic strike action, which was sparked by the government’s failure to implement the December 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) and the abrupt halt of the renegotiation process for the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
Highlighting the lack of justification for retaining these salaries, Osodeke reiterated that the application of the “No-Work-No-Pay” policy to academics overlooks the undeniable fact that only the teaching facet of academics’ responsibilities was suspended during the strike action.