The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Abuja branch has raised the alarm over non-payment of 16-month salaries of its members.
Despite suspending its strike to give the federal government room to implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed with the union, the University of Abuja branch of ASUU has lamented that the federal government was not keeping to its word.
The chairman of the branch, Kasim Umar, who spoke to LEADERSHIP in Abuja on Tuesday, lamented what he called systemic, deliberate, and corrupt actions of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) against the future of the university education system in Nigeria.
He said the victimisation of the University lecturers and their families by the AGF through continuous withholding of salaries of members and check-off dues since February 2020 was a clear indication of plan to kill ASUU.
“The AGF under the leadership of Mr Ahmed Idris withheld salaries of over one thousand members across federal universities, with University of Abuja Branch having 67 members who are yet to be paid from February 2020 to date.
“In the same vein, over 38 of our members are owed arrears of eight months salaries. Where salaries were paid to some members, it was not accompanied with pay advice or pay slip. In addition, check-off of the branch was amputated with payment of 5% as check off dues, and 95% balance unaccounted for 19 months.
“The union is now vindicated for its principled rejection of the forceful imposition on our members of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). The platform has demonstrated in the past 19 months the contradictions, confusion and corruption by failing to make third party deductions (check off dues) without problems where it was deducted, OAGF blatantly refused to remit to the union,” he said.
According to him, ASUU suspended its strike with conditions in December 2020, to give the Federal Government time for the implementation of the MoA signed by the leadership of the Union and the federal government.
“However, the OAGF has failed to pay the salaries of our members and check off to the Union despite the non-victimisation clause signed in the Memorandum of Action that led to the suspension of the strike. The Federal Government has also, completely disregarded the terms of the agreement,” he added.
He, therefore, called on traditional leaders, religious leaders and well- meaning Nigerians to call the Federal Government and the AGF Ahmed Idris to order and pay salaries of ASUU members and check-off dues without further delay.