Thursday, September 29, 2022

ASUU accuses Accountant-General of withholding members’ pay, threatens to resume strike

“The union has gotten to a stage where it may be forced to take drastic measures to save the lives and families of its members.”

• June 20, 2021
Emmanuel Osodeke
ASUU president Emmanuel Osodeke

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on an industrial action if the 13 months’ salaries of over 1,000 of its members across the country were not paid.

Dr Lazarus Maigoro, Chairman, University of Jos chapter of the union, who stated this in a statement on Saturday, in Jos, added that the Federal Government had also withheld the check-off dues of the affected members.

He accused Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of Federation (AGF), for systematically denying the lecturers their remuneration, even after the government and the union had reached an agreement on non-victimisation of its members following their last strike.

“Idris, for all intents and purposes, is bent on withholding the salaries of over 1,000 members of ASUU spread across the country, with more than 100 of such lecturers being members of our branch at the University of Jos,” Mr Maigoro said.

The chairman alleged that the affected members were being threatened to either enrol into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform, or have their salaries withheld.

He explained that despite the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari, that members of the union be paid their full remuneration, the AGF had denied the affected union members their pay, in complete violation of the terms of the agreement signed between the union and government.

Mr Maigoro said that the office of the AGF had continued to feed the public and some sections of government with false reasons over the matter, such as incorrect BVN numbers, incorrectly spelt names and their sequential arrangement, among others.

He, however, added that such excuses were not tenable, because the bursary departments of their various institutions had submitted the names severally to the authorities, but the problem had continued to persist.

“Despite the directive given by Mr President to pay the salaries of all lecturers, the AGF has refused to pay their salaries, for periods ranging from four to thirteen months, respectively.

”More worrisome is the fact that while the AGF is refusing to pay the salaries, his staff are busy calling the affected lecturers and insisting they have to register with IPPIS before they are paid; some are even asked to forfeit a part of their salaries in order to be paid. So, it is very clear that this is a deliberate act on the part of the AGF and his staff.

“Many of our members at the University of Jos have not been paid salaries from February 2020 to date. How they are expected to go to the classroom and teach beats my imagination.

“It is not news, that our union have vowed to fight back at any cost in order to salvage our colleagues from his tyranny and unpatriotic act against not just ASUU members, but the future of education in Nigeria and so, if nothing is urgently done, we will be forced to take action,” Mr Maigoro said.

“The union has gotten to a stage where it may be forced to take drastic measures to save the lives and families of its members because their despair is also our collective despair.

Mr Maigoro also said that the inability of the government to pay other allowances, such as sabbatical, visiting, part time and contract staff was also destroying the university system in the country.

“Apart from the refusal to pay the salaries of our members, the lack of payment of allowances of sabbatical, visiting, part-time, contract staff is further killing the federal universities in Nigeria, and this is all because of IPPIS.

“We hope that whatever decision the union takes, will not be misconstrued by the Nigerian public, especially seeing the seeming silence of the public and the government over the complete violation of our 2020 MoA,” he said

Mr Maigoro called on President Buhari to wade into the matter, in order to save the affected members, as well as the future of education in Nigeria.

(NAN)

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Showbiz

‘I didn’t forget my bags’, Ruger shades Kizz Daniel as he lands in Tanzania

Ruger aimed a slight at Kizz following the latters ordeal in the same eastern Africa country in August.

President Muhammadu Buhari

World

Buhari restates Nigeria’s commitment to non-proliferation of nuclear weapons treaty

Mr Buhari said that expending further resources on nuclear weapons stockpiling and maintenance was senseless.

States

Four killed in fatal road accident in Bauchi

He said the accident involved one private car and a commercial vehicle and it was blameable on speed violation and loss of control.

Economy

Telcos threaten to cut off USSD services over banks’ N80 billion debt

The debt has now risen to N80 billion from N42 billion earlier this year, said ALTON president Gbenga Adebayo.

President Muhammadu Buhari

NationWide

Buhari cautions candidates, media handlers against personal attacks during campaigns

He said that as the president, he has always reiterated his commitment to a peaceful, credible and transparent election.

Politics

My 4 wives, 28 children will vote for Tinubu, APC: Ado Doguwa

“I have done my flag off with my 28 children and four wives, who will vote for Tinubu and every other candidate of the APC.”