By Ikenna Orioha, OWERRI

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Owerri Zone, in Imo State has urged the Federal Government to urgently and effectively implement the 2009 Agreement reached with ASUU in meeting the needs of universities to advance quality academics, as well as enhance the welfare of academic staff of universities.

Speaking to newsmen, Monday, at Theatre Arts, Department of Imo State university, Owerri, ASUU, Owerri zone, who spoke through Comrade Uzo Onyebinama, Zonal Coordinator, said in order to avoid breach of the industrial harmony existing in the universities which may cripple academic and researcher activities, the Federal government should rise from slumber and do the needful.

He said “this question of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement. As we speak, the attempt at renegotiating that agreement, which ought to have been renegotiated in the first instance in 2012, has failed due to the intransigence of the Government Team led by Dr Wale Babalakin, SAN.

“The Union believes that Dr Wale Babalakin is acting out a script deliberately designed to frustrate the renegotiation exercise.

“For 10years (2009-2019), the salaries and allowances of staff members have remained constant, double digit inflation and the devaluation of the naira notwithstanding”.

Rejecting the contentious Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System, IPPIS by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Comr Okey Aniebo, Chairperson, ASUU, COOU, Comr Christopher Echereobia, Chairperson, ASUU, FUTO, Comr Luke Uzoigwe, Chairperson ASUU, IMSU, Comr Chinyere Echendu, Chairperson, ASUU MOUAU and Comr Stephen Ufoaroh, Chairperson, ASUU NAU, noted that “the central idea of IPPIS is the payment of salaries of staff members directly into their individual accounts by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation instead if through bulk release to the universities”.

ASUU, Owerri zone was bitter that “IPPIS violates University Autonomy and violates FGN/ ASUU Agreements. It also does not address the peculiarities inherent in the nature and structure of our universities.

“Specifically, IPPIS violates and erodes University Autonomy inherent in the extent provisions of Section 2AA of the Universities Miscellaneous Provision Amendment Act 2003”.

The Union noted that “academic activities; teaching, research and community service in universities, have milestones with timelines.

“Universities are structured to be independent and free from Civil Service Bureaucracy. As a result, university establishment is only flexible and dynamic, but also pragmatic having the primary objective of rapid response to critical exigencies… IPPIS negates this.

“ASUU views the claim by OAGF that ASUU position against IPPIS as an endorsement of corruption as cheap blackmail. ASUU cannot be blackmailed into shirking her sacred responsibility of defending the autonomy of our universities. ASUU zero tolerance for corruption is widely acclaimed. ASUU even offered to be given the opportunity to develop an alternative to IPPIS”.

ASUU while calling on Nigerians to prevail on federal government to rescind decision on the enrollment of universities into IPPIS”, clamoured for the setting up of statutory Visitation Panels for Federal Universities that have been long overdue, saying Visitation Panels would provide the avenue for checking the conduct of affairs of Universities.


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