The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), urged Federal Government (FG) to wake up and implement the renegotiated agreements with the academic body to avoid industrial action.

The ASUU Chairperson, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia state, Prof. Michael Chikezie Ugwuene who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday during a peaceful rally at the institution, insisted that FG’s urgent attention in this regard is necessary to avert imminent unpleasant consequences.

Ugwuene noted that ASUU is contending with the FG over the implementation of the 2009 agreement both parties had and advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to rise up to the occasion and address the lingering issues with the union to save the University system from from further decay.

Ugwuene, said, “The FGN/ASUU agreement signed into law in October 2009 has four major components: condition of service, funding, university autonomy, academic freedom, and other matters related to regulations and the working environment, among others.”.

He highlighted their grievances, which include gross inadequate funding of the universities, a nonchalant or insensitive attitude of the federal government towards the welfare of lecturers, withholding of lecturers’ salaries by the federal government, politicization of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), as well as others made up of non-payment of promotion arrears and non-payment of minimum wage arrears.

He further included; violations of university autonomy through the introduction of Integrated Personal and Payroll (IPPIS), the illegal dissolution of governing councils, the imposition of the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standard, and the proliferation of public and private universities.

According to him, “This agreement was reached with the noble intent to provide conducive teaching, learning, and research environments and, by extension, arrest brain drain, attract the best brains to the Nigeria University system from all over the globe, and position Nigerian public universities on strong pedestals to compete effectively with other universities in the world,” while regretting, “Unfortunately, this vision has become a mirage as successive governments of Nigeria have consistently, through non-implementation of the agreement, undermined the existence and integrity of Nigerian public universities.

“ASUU MOUAU hereby calls on Mr President to rise to the occasion and address the lingering issues for which ASUU has struggled to attract the attention of the government for their solution in order to make the universities in Nigeria take an enviable place among the universities in the world.

“The government’s urgent attention in this regard is necessary to warn of imminent unpleasant consequences”.

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