By Mohammed Yakubu and Hamzat Ibrahim Abaga.
The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU), Dr Kudu Dangana, has on March 10, 2020, stated the reasons why the institution may continue the industrial action even if the national body called off in the next two weeks.
Addressing the CampusPress, he said “aside from the major reasons why ASUU embarked on strike, the local chapter of IBB University also has some in-house challenges which may prolong the institution’s industrial action after the end of the two-week warning strike as ordered the national body of ASUU”
Expressing his dismay over the reckless attitude of the Niger State Government, he mentioned the issues that may prolong the institution’s industrial action to include: Earned Academic Allowance(EAA), promotion arrears among others.
According to him “our EAA is paid in an amputated form which is very unjust on the side of the state government. Enough is enough, we cannot continue receiving our allowance immaturely”.
“Also, our promotion arrears are not being paid effectively, especially of those integrating from Senior Lecturers to Associate Professors and from Associate Professors to Professors. All these together with other issues provided the national body triggered our chapter to join the struggle.
On the part of the national body, it has been gathered that the strike came as a result of non-payment of salaries to federal universities, an attempt the Federal Government to enrol ASUU officials on IPPIS and its failure to respect the agreement reached in 2009.
Reacting to this, Dangana, said “Government has directed that all parastatals and ministries should be paid through Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and ASUU felt it is against the autonomous feature of universities. So ASUU cannot join”
Suggesting a better way to adopt the government, he disclosed that the government can set up a ‘Visitation Panel’ that will be monitoring universities in order to keep them accountable.
He said “we can’t join IPPIS but the government can set up a ‘Visitation Panel’ that will solely monitor the influx of funds coming into the universities and how they are being used”
“Another reason is that our members in federal universities are not paid and ASUU strongly believe that an injury against one is an injury against all”
However, he revealed that after the 2009 strike ASUU, the government said a sum of 200 Billion Naira will be allocated for universities annually. But, the money was only paid once and subsequently evaded.
Assuring the public of the union’s integrity, Dangana, affirmed that some of the demands ASUU are not only for their benefits but also for the welfare of the students as well as ensuring an improved system of education.
He lamented the current sorry states of our primary and secondary schools, saying “if not for ASUU, universities will be like primary and secondary schools which have been hugely commercialised and at the same time bastardised”
“When you go to some of these schools now, they have become an eyesore due to their dilapidated outlooks”, he stated.
The chairman who sought government maximum cooperation also urged students to help drive home their demands being supportive and calm throughout the struggle.
Source: UNION OF CAMPUS JOURNALISTS (UCJ), IBB UNIVERSITY, LAPAI