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Universities May not Resume Soon- ASUU

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By Pearl Harold

Academic Staff Union of Universities, Port Harcourt Zone, has alerted Nigerians that universities may not resume as being anticipated due to government’s failure to meet it’s demands and inadequate Infrastructure to meet Covid-19 advised protocol.

In a press statement signed by it’s Zonal Co-ordinator, Comrade Uzo Onyebinama, and other ASUU chairpersons of universities in the zone, and made available to newsmen, the union called on Nigerians to prevail on governments at all levels to address contending issues with the union to put universities on the path of development.

“We call on well -meaning Nigerians to prevail on government at federal and state levels to conclusively address all outstanding issues in the February 2019 MOA, live up to its promise to adapt UTAS, provide the urgently needed revitalization fund for Improved Infrastructure for teaching, research and welfare of students”, the statement read.

The statement, which was made at a press conference, held at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on the Thursday, September 3, 2020, frowned at government’s lack of commitment to the Memorandum of Action (MOA) it signed with the union long after the mutually agreed timelines had expired.

ASUU also disclosed that it had developed a software, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) application, an alternative to the IPPIS .

It expatiated that the UTAS, which is not just an alternative to the IPPIS, “Among other things recognises all agreements entered into between the government and university based unions, ensures simultaneous payment of employees, services and third party deductions”.

The union noted that the feat achieved with the development of the software, attested to the competence of its members to provide solutions to challenges when called upon.

It further expressed displeasure over the failure of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 to collaborate with members of the union in the search for prevention, containment and cure for the virus.

“In other climes with more focused leadership, attention was turned to their scholars for development of drugs and vaccines for Covid-19 prevention and cure”.

“But the failure of the federal government to release outstanding #1.1trillion revitalization fund for universities for over a period of six years has hindered research activities of scholars in the universities and has constrained the ability to meet the requirements of Covid-19 guidelines for reopening of universities due to inadequate Infrastructure”, the statement said.

It would be recalled that ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike
over yet to be resolved issues with government since March 2020.

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