Against the backdrop of its decision to suspend the recent industrial action it had earlier embarked on, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asserted that it does not trust the Federal Government to keep its promise to university lecturers, due to its failure to honour previous agreements.
President of the union, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, made this known yesterday when speaking, at the resumed meeting between the union, Acting Accountant General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh, and Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday, in Abuja.
Africa Daily News, New York reports that Mr. Osodeke, who had led ASUU leaders to the meeting told Gbajabiamila that the union called off its eight months strike, based on trust in the speaker, owing to his commitment to the resolution of issues with the government.
‘We didn’t reach full understanding before we called off the strike because we did that on trust. It was just on trust and the way we had meetings with the speaker, it was that way we’re able to convince them. I think we should also look at other issues and reach a very meaningful conclusion on them.
‘What we agreed on the issue of UTAS and IPPIS is a temporary measure because for a country like Nigerian, if we are really patriotic and we love this country, if there is a problem in payment, you challenge your university to develop a programme for you. So, this idea of others will bring their own is not true. We were challenged to produce it.
‘We have agreed on IPPIS as an interim measure, hopefully, subsequently, we will look for how to solve this problem once and for all.’
Gbajabiamila, at the resumed parley, thanked ASUU for calling off its strike, noting that the meeting was convened to discuss issues surrounding the payment platform, which was one of the contentious issues between the government and the university lecturers.
The Speaker, while responding to concerns that government has repeatedly failed to honour previous agreements with ASUU, said that in the past, the National Assembly was not part of any of the negotiations.