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ASUU wants Tinubu to intervene in its demands

ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on President Bola Tinubu to look into the yearnings of the union to reposition the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The union decried the neglect of its demands by the past administrations, saying the lingering crises that led to series of agitation since 2022 was due to non-implementation of the demands.

Dr Adeola Egbedokin, Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, AKure Zone, made the call at a news conference held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure(FUTA) on Monday.

The Akure zone of ASUU comprises Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, FUTA, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti; Federal University, Oye Ekiti and University of Medical Sciences, Ondo.

Egbedokun said that the ruling class in the country do not care whether universities are thriving or not, adding that the nonchalant attitude had forced many committed academics to seek greener pastures.

The zonal coordinator called on the President Tinubu-led administration to immediately commence the process of reviewing and signing of the Nimi Briggs-led renegotiated draft agreement of 2021 between ASUU and government to rekindle hope in the public universities.

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Egbedokun added that it was only concrete steps by the government to “restore the eroded dignity and degraded lives of ASUU members” that could guarantee lasting peace in public universities.

According to him, the government should always respect the laws and regulations establishing universities and not waiting for the union’s threat before reconstitution of governing councils in federal universities.

He also demanded immediate lifting of the embargo on university employment by the Federal Government that had persisted for years.

The zonal coordinator added that the union had consistently rejected IPPIS platform for salary payment of the its members because it violated the autonomy of universities.

“ASUU’s position remains unchanged: Government should revert to quarterly releases of university funds to enable the institutions design and implement their salary payment plans under the supervision of their governing councils.

“In the interest of industrial harmony, government should direct the immediate release of all outstanding deductions, unpaid promotion arrears and salaries of university academics which were unjustly withheld by the IPPIS regime,” he stated.

Egbedokun called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to join forces with the union on quality teaching, learning, research and community service in the Nigerian universities rather than creating debilitating academic programmes.

He tasked the government to increase the funding of universities between 15 per cent and 20 per cent from its annual budget in line with world-standard, frowning at reduction of TET-Fund’s intervention in the public universities.

“The Federal Government recently decided to further reduce the resources available for TETFUND intervention by channelling the available fund to the agency to the Students Education Loan Scheme.

“This is antithetical to the law establishing the Education Tax Fund which now operates as TETFund.

“Grants from TETFund as an intervention agency should not be taken as replacement for the statutory budgetary allocations by Federal and state governments meant for capital and recurrent expenditures in the public universities,’’ he said.

Egbetokun said the union would continue to speak out in order to ensure that public universities become centres of excellence.

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