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ASUU Threatens Industrial Action Over Unreleased N170 Billion In 2023 Budget

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened that it may embark on industrial action again if the federal government fails to release the N170 billion in the 2023 budget allocated for universities’ revitalisation and also address other pressing issues.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos at the weekend, the Coordinator of ASUU, Lagos Zone, Prof. Adelaja Odukoya, reiterated the union’s call for increased government funding and attention to public universities.

The Lagos Zone of ASUU consists of University of Lagos (UNILAG); the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo; Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun-Ijebu Ode; the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye; the Lagos University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH), Ikorodu; the Lagos University of Education (LASUED), Otto-Ijanikin; and the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abeokuta.

Odukoya noted that some of the lingering issues, which the government had not addressed include: Non-injection of revitalisation funds as agreed and also appropriated for in the 2023 Budget, the proliferation of both federal and state universities without financial support, the prolonged delay in the renegotiation of their 2009 Agreement, and the continuous use of “deceptive IPPIS” as a payment platform.

Others, according to him, are the continuous delay in the payment of their Earned Academic Allowances, the continuous use of Treasury Single Account (TSA) for university operations, the non-full payment of their eight-month withheld salaries, the non-recall of ASUU officials sacked at LASU since five years ago, and the non-release of the university’s white paper on the 2021 Visitation Panel.

On its withheld salary, the union condemned the “No-Work No-Pay” policy implemented during the previous administration, which left lecturers without salaries for a long period.

Though the union acknowledged the partial payment, it described it as insufficient and insensitive to the current economic woes.

The don urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the issues urgently to avoid embarking on strike again.

The union called on various stakeholders, including the media, labour movement, students’ organisations, and civil societies to support the academics towards improving the nation’s public university system.

Funmi Ogundare

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