Nigerian Professors earn less than $200 - ASUU - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, February 23, 2024

Nigerian Professors earn less than $200 - ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) has asked that governments stop perpetuating lawlessness in the Universities in the country and ensure adequate attention is paid to the education system as the country would be doomed without quality education.

The Union frowned at the inability of governments to address the lingering issues in Universities and insisted that public University education was deliberately being toyed with by governments and their officials to keep the masses in a perpetual state of illiteracy and exploitation.

The Bauchi Zone of ASUU, in a press conference held at the University of Jos on Friday, called for the full payments of their owed salaries, restoration of Governing Councils (where there are none) for the smooth running of the Universities as the use of Vice Chancellors to run Universities are illegal.

Reading the text, the Acting Zonal Coordinator, Professor Nanmwa Voncir said, "ASUU held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, between Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th February 2024. At the meeting, the Union did a comprehensive review of the state of its engagements with Federal and State Governments on how to reposition Nigeria’s public Universities for a global reckoning by arresting the worsening living and working conditions in the Universities and the nation at large.

"The Union at the Bauchi Zone is deeply disturbed by the reports received, on the failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to fulfil its promises to the Union. We are greatly concerned with the continuing decay in the University system including the unabated brain drain. This is to update Nigerians on developments since the suspension of our last national strike action on Friday, 14th October 2022 and our subsequent engagements with the current administration since its inception."

He listed the lingering issues to include, renegotiation of the FGN/ASUU 2009 agreement, withheld salaries, arrears of earned academic allowances, illegal dissolution of Governing Councils, Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standard, CCMAS, the proliferation of Universities, TETFund intervention, underfunding of Universities and the deepening socioeconomic crisis.

According to him, "The FGN/ASUU agreement is made up of three important components: conditions of service; funding; and University Autonomy. ASUU’s demand for negotiated wages with the Federal Government of Nigeria is anchored on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention No. 98 which provides the principle of collective bargaining.

"Following the FGN/ASUU Agreement reached in 2009 in which it was provided that it would be reviewed every three years, the Union has been without a renegotiated agreement with the FGN for 15 years. Owing to the Union’s persistent call for the review of the 2009 Agreement, the Federal Government set up the Wale Babalakin-led Joint Renegotiation Committee in 2017. 

"For reasons known to the Government, and the insistence of the Chairman on the introduction of tuition fees, the process was stalled for over two years. Consequently, another renegotiation committee was reconstituted with Prof Munzali Jibril as Chairman. Much progress was made, as a Draft Agreement was ready within three months.

"However, the government refused to sign the draft agreement for some inexplicable reasons advanced by some agencies of government despite their involvement in the process. The government again reconstituted the renegotiation Committee with the Late Emeritus Prof. Nimi Briggs as Chairman. Negotiation didn’t start until the government team extracted the mandate of its principal, the FGN to conclude the process which had dragged for more than four years."

He added, "Renegotiation with Nimi Brigs was completed within six months. However, the then Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, acting the script of his master truncated the process at the point of signing the reviewed draft agreement. From 2021 till date, the document has remained in its draft form.

"The most obvious implication of the truncation of the renegotiation of the Agreement is that University teachers in Nigeria have been on the same salary regime since 2009 when the value of naira to a dollar was N120. Today, it is above N1,700. It is no longer news that the salaries of the highest-paid professor, on average, have been reduced to a meagre $210/month. This is one of the least in the world.

"The ILO Conventions guarantee the right of Trade Unions to use strike action as a means of pressing for their demands where it becomes necessary. The last administration, engineered by Senator Ngige, activated the obnoxious “No-Work No-Pay” policy by withholding lecturers' seven and a half months' salaries in Federal Universities and varying months in State Universities even though the strike was necessitated by the failure of the FGN to honour agreements/memoranda...

"The strike was later suspended as a result of patriotic interventions of some well-meaning Nigerians, including the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. It is imperative to state that at several formal and informal meetings, while the court proceedings were ongoing, promises were made towards meeting the demands of ASUU, including the release of the withheld salaries.

"Unfortunately, the promises are yet to be fulfilled, even with Rt. Hon Gbajabiamila as the Chief of Staff to the President and Commander-in-Chief. There is no justification for withholding lecturers’ salaries if not for the grand design of the ruling class to emasculate and ridicule them. Members of ASUU have since made up for lost ground, covering two academic sessions in many Universities within the period, in addition to the fact that Research/ Community service of academic staff responsibilities never suffered during the strike period."

The Union called on the Federal Government to, "as a matter of urgency, release all the withheld salaries and third-party deductions of our members to restore their fading hope in the Nigerian University system and Nigeria as a country. This is the only way industrial disharmony can be avoided."

No comments:

Post a Comment