The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has decried the reduction of the Federal Government’s allocation to the education sector from 11 per cent in 2015 to 8 per cent in 2016.
The ASUU Sokoto Zonal Coordinator, Dr Lawal Argungu, made this known at a Press Conference in Sokoto on Saturday.
“The way FGN treats the funding of education in this country makes it difficult for ASUU to believe the sincerity of the government in reforming the education sector in Nigeria.
”It is certainly quite possible for us to reposition our educational sector appropriately if we put our priorities right in this country in spite of the apparent economic hardship.
”The union is willing to use every legitimate instrument at its disposal to ensure government fund universities as contained in the valid agreements, Argungu said.
He expressed regrets that out of the over N1.3 trillion earmarked for the revitalisation of the Nigerian universities in 2013, there was still an arrears of N605 billion.
Argungu said that the revitalisation was part of the agreement reached between the union and the Federal Government to be accomplished between 2013 and 2018.
According to him, the union is grossly disappointed with the way the FGN breached this fundamental agreement.
He said the only time it was implemented was in 2013, leaving the arrears of N605 billion as at the third quarter of 2016.
Argungu attributed the decay, rot and inadequate training facilities in Nigerian universities to inability of over 100 universities to be among the best 1000 in the world.
“It also explains why a good number of Nigerian graduates are not marketable in the critical sectors of the Nigerian economy,” he added.
He further said that precarious situation necessitated the Federal Government to carry out a Needs Assessment of Public Universities in July, 2012.
Argungu urged government to respect the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement, describing it as the only panacea to improve and support research activities in the university system.
He said that the agreement made provision that deserving academic staff should be entitled to Earned Academic Allowances.
“The payment of these important allowances could not commence until 2013 after a series of struggles by the union.
”Out of the N30 billion released at that time, only N13 billion was used to partially address the claims of the affected academic staff for the period between 2009 and 2012.
”Since then, no additional release has been made to settle the balance and attend to the claims of the subsequent years despite adequate submission made by the union
”The refusal of the government to pay these entitlements has generated unprecedented tension in Nigerian universities which could degenerate into a big crisis if government continues to remain adamant on the matter. ”
He also said that the union 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement provides that, ASUU could establish Nigerian University Pension Management Company.
Argungu said the National Pension Commission had frustrated the licensing of the company, and urged the government to intervene on the issue
He also claimed that government had unilaterally created shortfalls in the personnel emoluments of workers of the Federal Universities.
The ASUU zonal chairman said the falls were in arrears of salaries, excess workload allowances, earned academic allowances and general funding.
Argungu also said that the problem also affected some of the union’s members in some state universities.
He said that the union would “never accept this lawless behaviour”’ from both Federal and affected state governments because it was in conflict with the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement.
Argungu decried the manner Kebbi Government was handling the issue of its Science and Technology University in Aliero, noting that it showed how education in the state was relegated to the background.
”With the monthly overhead of N5 million only, since inception to date, the university can be considered abandoned by the government.
”The state government has left the university without a governing council for over one year.
”This is a university where all the principal officers are on acting capacity, including the vice chancellor, due to the absence of the governing council.”
Argungu said that on convocation had held in spite of the five sets of students graduated by the institution.
He noted that ASUU had an understanding with Gov. Atiku Bagudu, on the issue of the council as well as procedures to address the contentious issues as presented by ASUU/KSUSTA.
”As a union, we believe any University without a Governing Council is just like a ship without a Captain.
”KSUSTA has been a peaceful campus since inception. It has never had any course to embark on indefinite strike action.
”We appeal to the Kebbi State Government not to force the campus to industrial restiveness unnecessarily.
Argungu appealed to eminent Kebbi indigenes, genuinely progressive individuals and groups to prevail on the state government to redress the ugly trend.
”The state government should attend to its responsibilities without further delay in the interest of peace and industrial harmony,” he said.
BREAKING: Sanwo-Olu Appoints Olaleye As LASPOTECH Rector
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has appointed Dr. Oluremi Nurudeen Olaleye as the new Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH).
The appointment was announced in a statement from the office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education and signed by Omolase Yejide, Head Public Affairs on Monday.
Mr. Olaleye was earlier interviewed by the Institution’s Governing Council and subsequently recommended.
He is to serve five years single tenure will take effect from 1st December 2020 at the expiration of the tenure of the Acting Rector, Mr. Olumide Olusola Metilelu.
Exemption Of ASUU From IPPIS Temporary — Ngige
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government’s proposal to exempt members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) is a temporary measure.
He explained on Saturday that this measure was pending the conclusion of the integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
Ngige who clarified the position of the government team during Friday’s negotiation with ASUU said that it was not true that the government had abandoned IPPIS or that ASUU should not be on IPPIS.
“I think it is better because a lot of people are quoting us out of context saying that we abandoned the IPPIS and that we said they should not be on IPPIS, it is not true.
“What we said in the meeting and what we agreed was that in the interim for the transition period that UTAS is being tested by NITDA and the Office of National Security Adviser for cybersecurity. For those transition period, ASUU members that are not yet on IPPIS will be paid through the platform with which they were paid the President’s compassionate COVID-19 payment done to them between the months of February and June.
“That platform is a hybrid platform between IPPIS and MINPSI platform for the transition period. That was what was used, it’s a hybrid.”
Osun Assures Indigenes Of Job Security After LAUTECH Transfer
This was confirmed in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Funke Egbemode.
The state government assured that there will be no intimidation or discrimination against them in the discharge of their duties.
“All workers of Osun extraction either in the College of Health Sciences and LAUTECH ceded to Osun or those in Ogbomoso are assured of job security. There will be no intimidation or discrimination against them in the discharge of their duties,” the statement partly read.
“The agreement states that indigenes of Oyo and Osun State working in either of the two entities will retain all their rights and obligations stipulated in their letters of engagements, therefore the State Government of Osun wishes to inform citizens that there is no need to fret about the dissolution, as all workers of Osun extraction are assured of the security of their jobs.”
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