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Opinion

Honour the initial agreement -ASUU urges FG

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has appealed to the Federal Government to honour and implement the agreement the union entered with the government to forestall industrial action.

The ASUU coordinator in charge of Kano Zone, Mr Abdulqadir Muhammad, stated this at a news conference at the end of a zonal meeting on Wednesday in Kano.

He said the issues included renegotiation of the Federal Government-ASUU 2009 agreement, reached when the exchange rate to the U.S. dollar was N146 as against the current N1,900.

Muhammad said the exchange rate has eroded its salaries by 90 per cent.

He lamented that the federal government was adamant to sign the draft agreement reached with the union after the composition of new leadership of the negotiation committee.

“Therefore, the union calls on the President Bola Tinubu to immediately set in motion the process of upward-reviewing and signing of the Nimi Briggs Committee’s renegotiated draft agreement as a mark of goodwill and to forestall the industrial crisis and restore hope for Nigeria’s public universities,” he said.

Muhammad, however, confirmed that members of the union had received partial payment of their seven-month withheld salaries and stressed the need to ensure full payment of the remaining balance.

The union, he said, also urged the Kaduna government to pay the five months withheld salaries of Kaduna State University.

While calling for payment of the Earned Academic Allowances and promotion arrears abandoned after agreement, Muhammad condemned the dissolution of the Governing Councils of public universities, adding that the action contravened the Universities Miscellaneous Acts and respective university laws.

He further advocated a review of the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) Act, to check the proliferation of universities in the country without adequate provision for funding.

On the state of the nation, the union decried the spate of insecurity, poverty, unemployment, rising costs of living, displacement, and destitution in the country.

“ASUU uses this opportunity to call on all patriots in the media, civil society, labour movement and student groups to support its altruistic struggle to reposition Nigerian public universities.

“Finally, the zone urges President Bola Tinubu to faithfully implement the contents of the agreement it freely signed with the unions through collective bargaining.”

NAN

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