by Achadu, Gabriel, Kaduna
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kaduna State University (KASU) branch, has said the Office of Accountant-General of Federation, OAGF, is misleading the general public and federal government of Nigeria on the core issues contained in the FGN-ASUU agreement of 7th February, 2019.
In a statement on issued weekend in Kaduna, ASUU-KASU lamented that, instead of government to address ASUU’s demands, it was misled by the OAGF, by emphasizing solely on IPPIS.
“It is sad that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) is misleading the general public from the core issues contained in the FGN-ASUU agreement of 7th February, 2019, by emphasizing solely on IPPIS.”
Signed by chairman and secretary, Comrade Tukur Abdulkadir and Comrade Peter Adamu, ASUU-KASU explained that the goal of the total, comprehensive and indefinite strike, which commenced 10th of March 2020, was to get government to meaningfully address ASUU’s demands for revitalization of funds for public universities.
“Other goals include getting government for renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, visitation panels to universities, and proliferation of state universities and governance issues in them.
“Specifically, the outstanding issues in the crisis include the funding for the revitalization of Public Universities, based on the FGN-ASUU memoranda of understanding, MoU, of 2012, 2013 and the MoA of 2017 and 2019,” it stated.
“Others include provision of a platform by the federal government for ASUU to engage state governors on the proliferation of universities, underfunding of university education and undue interference in the affairs of state universities.”
According to KASU, the main highlights of the MoA also include the resumption of full implementation of the MoU of 2013, strengthening the Consultative Committee on State-owned Universities (CCSOU) inaugurated on Monday, 28th January, 2019, to look into the issues of proliferation, underfunding and governance to consistently deliver on its mandate.
And, indeed, the visitation to all federal universities, which was scheduled to commence tentatively by 11th March, 2019, as well as the provision of documented guidelines on procedures and roles of parties in the process of renegotiating FGN-ASUU Agreement of 2009, which supposed to have commenced not later than 18th February, 2019, and end by Friday, 29th March, 2019, respectively.
On the KASU, the statement added that the pending issues in Kaduna State University stemmed from undue interference in the governance structure of the university, “as can be seen in various folds, including, among others, the 60% outstanding September, 2017, salary payment.”
It continues that despite the conclusion of classes, conduct of examination, submission and processing of results, after the 2017 strike action, salaries of academics have not being paid.
Other pending issues, according to ASUU-KASU statement, include discrepancies in Salary Payment from October 2019 to date due to migration to BATMIS, Kaduna State’s version of IPPIS, Non-payment of SIWES supervision allowance, Obnoxious Tax System, Non-remittance of Pension and Group Life Insurance.
Others are Non-implementation of Promotion /Promotion Arrears, Non-payment of Excess Work Load, Devious Health Insurance Scheme, 50% Covid-19 compulsory deductions (April and May, 2020), respectively.
According to the body, “All of these issues and more have eroded the autonomy of the university and affected the smooth operation of Kaduna State University.
“The position of ASUU-KASU is that, as at today, no public university can meet the requirements of facilities needed to observe the COVID-19 protocols, neither can they boast of infrastructure for impactful online teaching or meaningful e-learning.
“ASUU’s insistence on implementation of the 7th February, 2019, MoA is to create the atmosphere required by the NCDC guidelines and e-learning infrastructure, among other things, in Nigerian universities.
“Compatriots, we are at a crossroads in the country and, the proclivity of the Nigerian ruling class, irrespective of their divide, have plunged us all into this quagmire. We must continually track, engage and resist their excesses for the survival of Public University education and the country at large,” it lamented.
“ASUU-KASU, as a union, acknowledges the understanding and support demonstrated by patriotic Nigerian students and parents.
“As we continue in this struggle, it is our hope and desire that the Nigerian government will play its role in the implementation of the agreements it willingly signed. We will never abandon our obligation to ensure the survival of a sound university system in Nigeria,” it added.