Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned that it will embark on another round of indefinite industrial action if the Federal Government fails to implement the terms of Agreement reached with ASUU in 2009.
The Chairman of ASUU-UCB, Mr. James Okpiliya, who disclosed this while addressing journalists at the unions secretariat over the weekend in Calabar, said the imminent crisis ahead will be dangerous for the university system and called on all major stakeholders to intervene before the education sector is doomed.
Okpiliya admitted that though, the government has implemented the monetary increase as contained in the agreement, but the problem lies with the National Assembly that has refused to pass the law on the retirement of professors and other major contending issues.“The union regrets that since 2009 when the agreement was signed, the National Assembly has refused to pass the law making retirement of lecturers at professorial cadre to be 70 years. The government has failed or refused to enact the enabling laws to facilitate the implementation and enforcement of some of the key aspects of that agreement.
“With less than two weeks to the end of this administration, we can conclude that government is ill-willing to give legislative backing to the parts of the agreement, ‘’ he said. The union urged the National Assembly to urgently pass the relevant law in respect of the areas of the agreement that require such before the end of the legislative tenure, stressing that “to renege on this is to avoidably throw the university system into another serious crisis.’’
The union also strongly objected to the arbitrary dissolution of the governing councils by visitors of various state universities with a wave of the hand insisting on due process of law in the removal of the Vice Chancellors especially that of Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, and the University of Ado Ekiti by their visitors. Okpaliya further commended lecturers and members of the National Youth Service Corps for their role in the success of the recently concluded general elections.
He, however, condemned in strong terms the post-election violence in some parts of the country, particularly the killing of corps members, saying “their killing is unfortunate, unacceptable and a primitive fall back on fault lines that drift us apart as a nation.”