The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) has accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to its promises to the lecturers.
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, who was a guest on Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, explained that the union has lost its trust in the government.
“Let me give you an example; last year, the President went for a programme outside the country and he promised that in 2022, he would increase the budget for education by 50 per cent and by 2023, he would double the budget for education. If you look at the budget, the budget of this year decreased by just one per cent, it decreased!” he said on the Channels Television breakfast programme.
“We are having a promise at the international level, and we come back home and not implement it; that is why we don’t trust whatever they tell us. if you don’t fund your education, what else do you want?”
Another strike looms as the leadership of ASUU in various states have begun to mobilise members for the planned industrial action.
Amid the series of negotiations between the lecturers and government, both parties have been at loggerheads over the welfare of members and the condition of universities in the country.
On Tuesday last week, President Muhammadu Buhari promised that the government would honour the promises made to the union to prevent disruptive strikes, encourage uninterrupted academic programmes, and improve funding of educational institutions.
He had also urged the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) to inform the lecturers that his administration was not unaware of the service they provide to the nation.
Professor Osodeke, on his part, identified the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) as one of the major causes of the irregularities in the payment of lecturers.
“Nigeria (the government) has forced us into this their so-called IPPIS and has been reported to be fraudulent,” he said. “Today lecturers don’t know what they will earn at the end of every month.
“A vice-chancellor cannot discipline any staff because if you do so, at the end their salaries are being paid. These are the critical issues that we are having.”