There are doubts over the Nigerian government’s commitment to “faithfully implement” the agreement it recently reached with the country’s university lecturers.
The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) an umbrella body of Nigerian lecturers on Wednesday “conditionally” called off its 9-month-old strike, but warned the government against reneging on the agreements reached with the union.
ASUU’s National President, Professor Bidoun Ogunyemi also noted that the union would not fail to embark on another industrial action without notice if the government fails to meet parts of the agreement.
Dele Ashiru, ASUU Chairman of the University of Lagos told ARISE News that it is very doubtful to believe the federal government will not renege on the agreement reached.
“I hope that they (the federal government) will not. The question of believe is very doubtful because Ngige as Minister of Labour and Employment in Nigeria had presided over two similar agreements with our union which they didn’t faithfully implement.
“So if you ask me whether I believe, I do not, but if you ask about hope, I hope that Ngige will live up to ensuring that the agreements are implemented this time around,” Dr Ashiru said when he appeared on a program on ARISE News.
The ASUU Chairman also accused Chris Ngige, the country’s Minister of Labour and Employment of not believing that Nigerian university lecturers could deliver on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution – UTAS – a payroll software as opposed to government’s preferred Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System – IPPIS.
“How willing is government ready to accept innovation from Nigerian universities. Ngige and the rest didn’t believe that ASUU could deliver on UTAS and if you want facilities in the universities, you pay for it.
“Technology costs money. I am here in my office in UNILAG and talking to you in Ikoyi, it took a lot of effort, a lot of planning, a lot of commitment to get your crew here, to connect with me and to do all of these we are doing.
“It is the same thing we are talking when we talk about facilities in the universities. Yes ASUU could develop the software but how do you use them, how do you utilise it if government is unwilling to get committed in terms of providing the necessary accoutrements,” he said.
By Abel Ejikeme