By Idowu Maryam
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said the ongoing strike has not been suspended.
The chairman of the University of Jos chapter of ASUU, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, confirmed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Jos.
He said the union has not signed or made any agreement with the Federal Government to call off the strike.
He said the Federal Government had promised to fulfill part of the agreement that led to the strike, but had failed to do so to till 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.
Dr Lazarus Maigoro said the minister was quoted in most media outlets that the government has fulfilled its part of the agreement and the union will call off the strike.
“He was also quoted that payment of the public university lecturers’ salaries being withheld would require presidential clearance due to the prevailing “No work, no pay” rule. And that the government had fulfilled its part of the gentleman agreement between them and ASUU on Nov. 27.
“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.
Mr Lazarus Maigoro is calling on everyone to assist ASUU in its fight to ensure a better university and education system in the country.
He also called on the government to show a high level of sincerity in their negotiations with ASUU. And avoid threats for it does more harm than good