The Chairman of the University of Jos Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, on Friday, noted that the union has not suspended its ongoing nine-month-old strike.
Dr. Maigoro stated this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Jos.
The lecturer disclosed that ASUU has not signed any agreement with the Federal Government to call off the strike as been reported by some platforms.
He noted that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government had vowed to fulfill part of the agreement that led to the ongoing strike, but had failed to do so to date.
“It must be categorically stated here that ASUU never signed any agreement to suspend the strike but agreed on timelines for government to implement certain aspects of the issues in contention.”
“For instance, one of the issues agreed was that all the six to nine months withheld salaries and check-off dues of ASUU members will be released by Dec. 9, but the date has passed and nothing was done.”
“The N40 billion earned academic allowances and N30 billion funding for revitalisation will also be released by Dec. 11, among other issues, but till now, none has been fulfilled.”
“The next thing is that we heard Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, telling the public that ASUU agreed to suspend the strike,” he said.
Maigoro further stated that the Ngige was quoted to have claimed that the government has fulfilled its part of the agreement reached to enable the union to call off the industrial action.
“He was quoted to have said the government had fulfilled its part of the gentleman agreement it entered with ASUU on Nov. 27.”
“He was also quoted to have claimed that payment of the public university lecturers’ salaries being withheld would require presidential clearance due to the prevailing “No work, no pay rule.”
“It is important for Nigerians to note that salaries of lecturers of federal universities, who refused to enroll in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) were stopped in February before they went on strike in March.”
“It should, however, be noted too that IPPIS and salary stoppage were not among the demands of ASUU but was introduced by the government as a distraction,” he noted.
The ASUU chairman charged stakeholders, parents, and students to work with ASUU in its effort to ensure a better education system in Nigeria, rather than see lecturers as bad people.
Maigoro called on the government to show a high level of sincerity in negotiating with ASUU, insisting that using threats would further aggravate the issue.
Recall that ASUU had accused the federal government of not been sincere in its claim that it would end the strike on December 9