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CONTRARY to the news going around the towns that the Academic Staff Union of () has suspended its seven-month-old ongoing strike, the union has refuted the claim, saying it is a blatant falsehood. The union said its negotiations with the federal government officials over all their differences with a view to finding a workable solution for normalcy to return to the nation’s public were still ongoing in Abuja, the federal capital territory.

In addition, the union said reports on social media platforms that the Federal Government had released N30 billion for  Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) is not also and therefore should be disregarded by the public. The zonal coordinator of ASUU, who is a lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Profesor Olusiji  Sowande, told Saturday Tribune in an exclusive on Friday evening that he was not aware of such strike suspension, noting that suspension or calling off of industrial action by ASUU had a procedure.

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Explaining the procedures also in a separate interview with Saturday Tribune, the chairman of ASUU at University of  Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Dr Dele Ashiru, said it was only the National We have not suspended strike —ASUU Executive  Council (NEC) of the union that had the constitutional power to suspend or call off the strike which must also be subjected to the .

 

According to him, the ASUU president had no unilateral power to suspend or call off the strike as the occupier of the was not the one (but the congress) that declared the strike in the first instance.

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“So, ASUU is not Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that goes to meetings and takes decisions that concern all members right at the venue of the meeting without tabling such before the NEC, let alone the congress, “ he stressed. Ashiru explained further that whatever the Federal Government put on the negotiation table with ASUU representatives at the meeting would still be referred to the congress of the various branches before the final decision would be taken.

He said the N30 billion that the federal government said it would pay as earned allowances was a due for payment next January.

He said government and the society were not being fair to the lecturers, saying “no professor in earns up to  500,000 as salary monthly while a political office holder earns as much as over N10 million monthly.

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“So, ASUU strike is still solidly ongoing,” he stressed.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Education

ASUU: Why we haven’t called off strike

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The Academic Staff Union of has said it has yet to call off its ongoing strike because it is waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the Transparency and Accountability Solution.

The UTAS is the payment platform created by in place of government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.

ASSU , Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said the government needed to give the clearance to National Information Technology Development Agency to conduct integrity test on UTAS, according to The Punch.

“The integrity test will be handled by NITDA, it is government that will facilitate it because NITDA is a government, agency and unless you get clearance from the government that test cannot be conducted.”

While speaking on whether the government had accepted UTAS, Ogunyemi said, “We are still talking, we have given them the position of our members, we are thinking we should be able to hold a meeting this week if they have not changed plans. The meeting for Monday was postponed. In principal, they have accepted UTAS and told us to go for the test, and on our part, we have started the process. We had presented UTAS at three levels, starting with the Ministry of Education, Senate President and members of his team, officials of Ministry of Finance and of the Accountant General of the Federation, where all other stakeholders were present, including NITDA, all stakeholders have witnessed the presentation and the next stage of integrity test is what we are moving in to. If government facilitates it, it is not something that should drag for too long at all. We don’t foresee any problem with UTAS; it also depends on how early the government makes it possible for the integrity test to be conducted.”

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Ogunyemi also explained that ASUU was ready to resume academic activities if the government was ready to play its part.

“Our members are ready to resume as early as government is ready to play its part. I’m sure you are not suggesting that our members should resume an empty stomach or the strike should be suspended without any concrete action on the side of the government. We don’t like to stay away from our work because we like our students, they are also our children.

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As far as we are concerned, we don’t have issue with going back to work, but we want more sincerity on the side of the government.

“We have not seen enough reasons to believe that they don’t mean what they are telling us but as soon as we see any sign to that effect. we will tell Nigerians.”

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Education

#EndSARS Fallout: JAMB scared of masses’ reaction over N7.3bn contract fraud report

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ABUJA—THE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, has appealed to the media not to the alleged N7.3 billion contract scam involving it at this time, saying such action could pitch the masses against it considering the current situation in the country.
It flayed some media reports on the issue, which arose from the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation, currently being considered by the Senate Public Account Committee.
Some media reports had claimed that the Senate indicted JAMB in the said contract, which was allegedly awarded between 2012 and 2013 allegedly without recourse to due process.
Reacting Monday in a statement by through its Head, Media and Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, tagged: “Re: Ex-JAMB Registrar Awarded N7.3bn Contract without Due Process”, the board said it was worried at the timing of the report, given the current mood of the country.
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Recalling that the issue transpired over a decade ago, JAMB said that it was “surprised that the media is resuscitating a matter that happened years back at a time that everybody is conscious of further inciting the restive masses.”
The statement read in part: “The attention of the Board has been drawn to a sensational report in some sections of the media on an issue that transpired over a decade ago as if it had just happened.
“We are surprised that the media is resuscitating a matter that happened years back at a time that everybody is conscious of further inciting the restive masses.
“At the moment, such sensational news, if it should feature at this point in time at all, should, of necessity, be appropriately spiced with ample explanations and headers, to the effect that such issues had happened in the past and adequate measures had also been taken since then to prevent a recurrence.
“The mood of the nation should guide us all in whatever we do, as doing contrary would only compound the already fragile security situation in the polity.
“The media, as a critical stakeholder in the nation’s quest for peace and harmony, should always be alive to its responsibilities so as not to be seen as unnecessarily aggravating a tense political atmosphere.”

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