By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said there may another strike action looming as a result of Federal Government’s failure to implement most of the aspects of the Memorandum of Action agreed upon by the Union and government.
The Union also said despite its suspension of strike for about a year now (February, 2019), apart from the N25 billion government released, no dime has been since then, no dime has been released again.
This was disclosed by the University of Jos branch chairman of ASUU, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, after the Union’s zonal congress (Bauchi zone), held at the University’s Secretariat in Jos.
Maigoro said the Congress became expedient following a directive by the National Executive Council of ASUU that every zone should embark on mobilisation exercise, which commenced Monday in the whole of Bauchi zone (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State University, Gombe State University, Federal University Kashere, Plateau State University and University of Jos) and rounded up with the Congress at the University of Jos.
He said, “We have had so many issues with government especially the Memorandum of Action (MOA) that led to the suspension of the strike we had between 2018/2019, which was suspended in February, 2019.
“As we speak, most aspects of that MoA have not been implemented by government and so it is the major reason for this mobilisation exercise.
“The first issue that has not been addressed is the issue of funding Universities; the 2009 agreement was signed by the Federal Government and our Union, in it there are modalities for releases of funds.
“All these structures you see in the University here, you will either see NEEDS Assessment or TETFund, they are products of this 2009 agreement.
According to him, “There are timelines tide tie to this agreement for releases of funds to be sent to the Universities for infrastructural development; but since government released that N25 billion after the suspension of the strike (February, 2019), no kobo has been released again.
“Another issue is the renegotiation of that 2009 agreement; what was signed in that document is suppose to be reviewed every three years, but since it signed in 2009, up till now it has not been reviewed.
“Government constituted a committee, chaired by Wale Babalakin, sadly he has frustrated the progress of that committee up to where we are now, so we had to withdraw”, he explained.
“Another issue is that of the balances of our Earned Academic Allowances, they also suppose to have released, they never did since that strike was suspended, they went to sleep.
“It is very unfortunate that you have to be forced to do this after writing letters, meetings,; nothing has come out of it”, he decried.
“If government addresses all issues in the MoA, then so be it, but if they don’t, that will ultimately lead to an action.
The chairman however said there is no specific timeline given to commence any strike, “but we are only getting ourselves prepared and ready”.