THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the federal government to adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) platform for the payment of arrears of salaries and other entitlements of its members.
The call was made by the Calabar Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Dr Aniekan Brown, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Calabar, when he also called on the federal government to pay the salary arrears of lecturer’s owed salary for 22 months for their refusal to be captured in the Integrated Personal Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
While stating that the situation had caused untold hardship on their members, Dr Brown stressed that refusal to pay the affected lecturers may cause the union to embark on an industrial action.
“It is not in any way unkind of us to demand for our due by calling on our members to down tools, especially when confronted with malignant policies which are against the survival of Nigerian public university system.
“Recall that on December 23, 2020, our union patriotically suspended the strike after nine months of being in the trenches.
“The patriotic suspension was an extreme act of goodwill signifying our sole desire to ensure industrial harmony in our public universities while trusting that the FG will fulfil its own side of the Memorandum of Action signed then with attached timelines.
“It is very unfortunate that almost one year down the line; the federal government is yet to fulfil her own part of the Memorandum of Action.
“The issues, you may recall were: revitalization fund for public universities, payment of earned academic allowance, the deployment of UTAS and the issue of non-payment of salaries owed our members stretching since Feb. 2020,” he said.
Dr Brown said the UTAS platform was ready having been subjected to an integrity test to ascertain its functionality.
He expressed concern that if the UTAS platform was not deployed by the federal government, the whole essence of the university autonomy would be defeated.
“We therefore call on the general public to advise the government to as a matter of utmost urgency, fulfil the components of the 2020 Memorandum of Action.
“The Public Universities remain the hope of the everyday parent and of course, the common man.
“We urge the general public to stand by this fair call on government to do the needful and clear all issues in the said Memorandum of Action it willingly signed with ASUU,” he added.
The seven branches of ASUU that made up the Calabar Zone are; Abia State University, Akwa-Ibom State University, Cross River University of Technology and Ebonyi State University.
Others are, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, University of Calabar and University of Uyo.