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 ASUU Protests Over Unimplemented University Visitation Reports

 ASUU Protests Over Unimplemented University Visitation Reports and Salary Issues at OAU

By AmforGod J. Olisa

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Branch, staged a peaceful protest on Tuesday, expressing their grievances over the non-implementation of visitation panel reports and the illegal dissolution of governing councils in federal and state universities.

During the protest, ASUU members highlighted the withholding of their seven months’ salary, claiming that only four months had been partially paid, with just two months’ salary received. The demonstrators carried placards with messages such as “IPPIS is a scam,” “Give proper remuneration to lecturers,” and “A nation that values education is a nation that develops,” emphasizing their dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.

The protesting lecturers also criticized the federal government for not implementing the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS). They demanded the release of unpaid salaries for staff on sabbatical and adjunct positions, payment of promotion arrears, and settlement of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

Addressing the protesters, ASUU OAU Chairman, Prof. Anthony Odiwe, stated that the protest aimed to draw attention to the government’s negligence regarding their demands since 2009. He cited the need for funding the revitalization of public universities, based on agreements and memoranda of understanding from 2012, 2013, and 2017, as well as the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement.

“The refusal to implement the agreement by the Federal Government, even partially, led to a strike in 2022,” Odiwe noted. He expressed frustration over the withholding of salaries, pointing out discrepancies in the government’s claims of payments made.

“Our seven months’ salary was withheld. They claimed they had paid four months’ salary, but what we have received is only two months’ salary. Even the third-party deductions removed from our salary have not been remitted to date,” he stated.

Prof. Odiwe called on religious leaders, traditional rulers, and concerned Nigerians to urge President Tinubu to address these issues, emphasizing ASUU’s commitment to the progress and development of education and the improvement of facilities for students, staff, and universities to compete globally.

Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, Zonal Coordinator of ASUU’s Akure Zone, supported Odiwe’s statements, highlighting the government’s lack of response to their requests over the past year.

“All efforts to officially meet with the Minister of Education, Labour, and the President himself have proved abortive, and the government has not responded to any of our requests,” Egbedokun said. He urged the government to prevent the universities from collapsing and expressed ASUU’s readiness for dialogue.

The union’s protest underscores the ongoing challenges faced by academic staff in Nigerian universities, calling for immediate government intervention to resolve long-standing issues and improve the nation’s education system.

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