Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)

* To meet INEC January 4

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said its ongoing industrial action had nothing to do with the forthcoming 2019 general elections and therefore should not be seen by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC as a threat.

The President of the union, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this on Sunday in Lagos while briefing newsmen on the update of the six-week-old ongoing industrial action by the union.

He said, so far, the federal government had not shown reasonable commitment to resolve their differences.

According to him, the federal government has held meetings with ASUU for six times from November 4 when we commenced the strike and now, but there is nothing tangible that has come out of all these meetings.

“It appears that the federal government has adopted the ‘keep-them-talking’ strategy while deceiving the public that progress was being made and that partial agreement had been reached with ASUU,” Prof Ogunyemi said.

ASUU boss also said the ASUU’s seven-point demands which had been the bone of contentions since 2009 must have to be made by the federal government before the ongoing strike could be called off.

He listed the showing of commitment to the implementation of the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding with respect to the balance of N1.1 trillion revitalisation funds for public universities, the release of the report of forensic audit on the earned academic allowances, payment of outstanding areas, the payment of arrears of shortfalls in salaries of university academics and the release of NUPEMCO’s operational license by the National Pension Commission(PenCom), among other demands.

He, however, said that the union would be meeting the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on January 4 on the invitation of INEC and that the union could not say for now what could be the outcome of the meeting.

“Even at that,” he pointed out, “ASUU can’t say for now whether its members would participate as electoral officers during the general elections or not if the government still refuses to meet ASUU demands before the period.”

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