On Tuesday the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to adopt the Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) platform for the payment of their salaries and other entitlements.
The union also called on the FG to pay the salary arrears of lecturer’s owed salary for 22 months for their refusal to be captured in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Calabar Zone, Dr Aniekan Brown, who briefed newsmen on Tuesday in Calabar, said that the situation had caused untold hardship on their members.
Brown said that refusal to pay the affected lecturers may cause the union to embark on industrial action.
“It is not in any way unkind of us to demand our due by calling on our members to down tools, especially when confronted with malignant policies which are against the survival of the Nigerian public university system.
“Recall that on Dec. 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 the earned academic allowance, the deployment of UTAS and the issue of non-payment of salaries owed our members stretching since Feb. 2020,” he said.
The zonal coordinator said that UTAS platform was ready, having been subjected to an integrity test to ascertain its functionality.
He expressed worries 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 the 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.