The inability of the Federal Government to implement agreements it entered into in December 2020 with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) may soon lead to the shut down of all public universities.
That agreement, it will be Recalled, led to the suspension of a nine-month prolonged strike by ASUU.
The union, it will be further Recalled, had shut down academic activities in public universities in March 2020 during an indefinite strike which lasted till December when the Memorandum of Action (MoA) was signed as FG agreed to meet their demands.
However, 12 months after the industrial action was suspended, ASUU has accused the Federal Government of failing to fulfil its side of the agreement and threatened to mobilise for another strike immediately.
The union, in late 2021, embarked on consultation among its members nationwide to decide whether to stop academic activities over alleged negligence by the government.
But lectures and other activities have continued in the universities presently amid reports that the union and the FG, on October 18, reached an agreement on the N22.17 billion earned allowances and N30 billion revitalisation fund for public universities.
The agreement was reached after a meeting between the representatives of ASUU, and the government, led by Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance and National Planning, and Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education.
The meeting was presided over by Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The earned allowance and revitalisation fund, aside, another contending issue is a remuneration payment platform, as the union proposed, the University Transparency, Accountability Solution (UTAS), while the FG insisted on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), as a payment platform for all federal workers.
Speaking on Sunday, Prof. Emmanuel Osedeke, ASUU National President, said there would be a lecture-free day in some branches on Monday (today) to enable members have urgent meetings.
If, he added, the Federal Government failed to do the needful, indefinite strike would be inevitable. He lamented how the Federal Government ignored the implementation of some agreements the two parties reached in 2020.
Osedeke stated that after the meeting, members of the union would embark on sensitising the general public and students on the issues and its consequences if the government failed to act quickly.
Said he: “We declared Monday a lecture-free day in some of our branches because we are going to be having meetings in those places.
“After the meeting, we are going to interact with the public and the students to tell them what is ongoing and what they should expect if the issues are not properly handled by the Federal Government”.