By Victor Graham
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned that it may resume its suspended strike over victimization of members and non-payment of salaries by the Federal Government.
ASUU asked Nigerians to blame the federal government of Nigeria if the universities are shut down again.
The union in a statement by the branch chairman of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, accused the Federal Government of victimising its members and tactically avoiding payment of their salaries for up to 10 months.
It said despite suspending its strike on December 24, 2020 on the condition that its members would not be victimised for their role in the last strike, many lecturers were still being owed salaries of between 2 and 10 months.
The union leader stated that while members are back to their duty posts to work, the harsh economy due to unpaid salaries and non-refund of deducted check-off dues will affect productivity.
Akinwole said the government has refused to remit deductions it made to the account of the union suggesting it is a plan to stifle ASUU and warned that members could be forced to withdraw their services again if pushed to the limit.
According to him, while government is paying outstanding five months salaries for those on nominal role at an agonisingly slow pace, over 100 UI academic staff are being owed salaries ranging between two and ten months.
The statement said: “While ASUU as a union, and her members as individuals in various branches have remained faithful to this agreement by returning to classes and performing their respective duties, the Federal Government, true to type has reneged on its part
“Contrary to FGN affirmation of its commitment to pay all withheld salaries of ASUU members who have not enrolled in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information system (IPPIS), three months after the suspension of strike, thousands of ASUU members across various branch are still being owed salaries.
“Instead of deploying the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) software developed by ASUU, which has been adjudged effective for payment of salaries, some of our members are still being denied their salaries and others are being coerced by agents of government to register on the repressive IPPIS for payment of salaries.
“ASUU and her members are made to suffer from all the aforementioned attacks by the federal government while the public expects our members, some of who now live on the charity of family members and colleagues for survival to use their personal resources to discharge their duties diligently in the universities.
“These harsh conditions would have terrible consequences on public tertiary education in Nigeria and when push eventually comes to shove, as it definitely will in no distant future, the Nigerian public should accordingly blame the Federal Government for its insincerity”.