Nigeria: ASUU to Speak On Demands, Govt Actions After Suspending Strike

ASUU Vice President Chris Piwuna will be on PREMIUM TIMES Twitter Space by 6 p.m. today to answer questions.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will today (Wednesday) speak on various matters including the pending court case with the Nigerian government at the Industrial Court.

The court had granted the government’s request by ordering ASUU to suspend its strike while the main case was being heard.

ASUU was dissatisfied with the ruling and approached the Court of Appeal. But the appeal court ordered the union to obey the ruling of the industrial court before seeking an appeal.

ASUU obeyed and suspended the strike on Friday, but it noted that its demands have not been met satisfactorily.

By 6 p.m. today, ASUU Vice President Chris Piwuna will be on PREMIUM TIMES Twitter Space to answer questions as to whether the union will continue to pursue the case before the court, and if the system risks another industrial action soon.

The demands by the lecturers include the release of the revitalisation fund, the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) as the preferred payment platform for lecturers, the conclusion and implementation of the renegotiated 2009 agreement, payment of earned academic allowances, the release of whitepapers from the report of the visitation panels and a stop to the proliferation of universities by government.

To meet the union’s demands, the government has budgeted N300 billion as a revitalisation fund for all tertiary institutions and N170 billion for salary increments.

ASUU rejected the government’s proposed 23.5 per cent salary increase for all university workers and 35 per cent for professors, saying the recommendations in the draft agreement with the Nimi Briggs committee are way higher. The Briggs committee was set up by the government to negotiate with ASUU.

The government rejected UTAS and suggested modifications for the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), to recognise the peculiarities of universities.

The government is yet to release whitepapers from the report of the visitation panels and a plea to halt the establishment of new universities fell flat at the House of Representatives.

Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe

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