The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged its members across the country to prepare for an indefinite strike action over the failure of the present administration of President Bola Tinubu to honour the agreement it made with the union.
ASUU also condemned the implementation of the Federal Government directive mandating public universities to remit 40 per cent of their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to the coffers of the government.
The union disclosed this in a communiqué by the union president, Emmanuel Osodeke, on Monday.
It also strongly condemns the recent fascist attack on the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Imo State.
“The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the Kaduna State University (KASU), Kaduna, Kaduna State, from Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th November 2023 and deliberated on several issues affecting the Nigerian University System (NUS) and our dear country, Nigeria,” the statement reads in part.
“NEC reviewed the state of the struggle for improved conditions of service, funding for revitalization, university autonomy and academic freedom, removal of federal universities from the illegally imposed Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the amendment of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Act to curb the unbridled proliferation of state universities, and other related matters.
“NEC observed that successive governments have failed to honour several Agreements reached with our union, especially the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement. NEC noted that even the little gains of the 2022 strike, which led to budgetary provisions of funding for revitalization and the payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), are yet to be activated due to the non-release of the allocated funds, NEC, once more, calls on the Federal Government to set in motion without further delay the process of concluding the renegotiation exercise in line with the fundamental principles of the Professor Nimi Briggs’ Committee and release the funds allocated for the payment of EAA. Towards this end, NEC directs all branches of ASUU to immediately commence the conscious mobilization of its members.
“NEC reiterated its earlier position on the wrongful dissolution of Governing Councils of universities without recourse to the laws establishing them. NEC reiterated that, apart from its erosion of the extant laws on university autonomy, the recent dissolution of the Governing Councils of Federal Universities has negatively impacted the governance of those institutions in terms of the career advancement of our members and such other matters which require the attention of the Councils. NEC, therefore, calls on the President Bola Tinubu-led Administration to reinstate the Governing Councils of Federal Universities without further delay.
“NEC reviewed the implications of the recent directive to Federal Universities to remit forty per cent (40%) of their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to the coffers of Government. NEC condemns the directive in its entirety because it would further impoverish and emasculate the Nigeria University System. For the avoidance of doubt, universities are not revenue-generating agencies because the obligatory fees paid by students are to provide the necessary tools for them to be properly educated. NEC calls on the relevant institutions of the state to remove universities from this category of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) regarded as revenue-generating centres because of its implications for the affordability and accessibility of education in the country.
“NEC strongly condemns the fascist and vicious attack on the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Imo state. NEC shall resist any attempt to paint the legitimate demands of the working people of Imo state and elsewhere in Nigeria in partisan colourations and demands that the perpetrators of this dastardly act should be fished out and punished in line with the provisions of the law.”