ASUU, has said that it would not call off the ongoing strike until the federal government accept the 2019 agreements.
revealing this to newsmen in Abuja yesterday, ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi lamented that five months salaries of their members at the University of Maiduguri and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, were still being withheld by the Accountant-General of the Federation on account of non-registration on IPPIS.
“Thousands of other academics across the universities are suffering the same fate. So, while we counsel that government at both the federal and state levels must meet the Taskforce specified guidelines for reopening of educational institutions, we insist that all the arrears of the withheld salaries of our members in federal and state universities must be paid immediately to pave for further discussion on the outstanding issues in the Memorandum of Action of 7th February, 2019,” he said.
On the purported removal of the vice chancellor of the University of Lagos by the Governing Council of the institution led by the chairman, Dr Wale Babalakin, the union expressed shock and absolute disappoinment, saying that Babalakin’s spirited efforts to defends the indefensible is clear indication that there is more to the story coming from the senior member of the bar as other senior advocates like him, including professors from the Faculty of Law telling him that he goofed because the due process as required by the universities Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Act, 2004 was not followed.
He said “ASUU fully supports the UNILAG Senate’s rejection of Dr Wake Babalakin-led Governing Council’s ill-informed decision to remove the Vice Chancellor. We call on Mr President, as Visitor to University of Lagos, to immediately constitute a Special Visitation Panel to look into the immediate and remote causes of the events that led to the purported removal of Professor Oluwatoyin T Ogundipe as VC of UNILAG with a view to bringing all found culpable to book.”
Furthermore, he lamented the attitude of some vice Chancellors who are decieving and defrauding unsuspecting students and parents by pretending to keep the session running during the nation-wide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in universities bereft of the required ICT infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the union said that Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, is now ready for integrity test as earlier requested by the federal government.
Recall that UTAS which was developed by ASUU as an alternative to the Federal Government’s Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), which the Union rejected has been previously agreed by the two parties to be integrated.
“We had always promised that ASUU would produce a robust software solution that would be sensitive to the uniqueness of the university system in addressing personnel information and payroll system, among other things.
“Following our engagements with the Federal Government over the issues that eventually led to the declaration of the ongoing strike action on 17th March, 2020, government declared that it “accepts in principle the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which is being developed by ASUU and its researchers for the financial administration of the University’s FG’s staff monthly payroll and accounting processes,” he said.
The union accused Babalakin of “dragging” its negotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement with the federal government without a concrete result.
He, however, called on the National Universities Commission, NUC, to probe all fraudulent practices allegedly committed by “overzealous vice chancellors who have compromised academic standards and are subverting university ethos in the name of the so-called new normal.