Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday shut down all academic and non academic activities at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, in solidarity with the nationwide industrial action embarked upon by the academic body.
The Union also declared a “no teaching, no examination, no attendance to statutory meetings” until its demands are met by the Federal Government.
At a press conference, ASUU chairman in FUTO, Christopher Echereobia, accused the Federal Government of “deliberate action to kill public education in Nigeria.”
Echereobia, who spoke alongside the union’s Secretary, Chinedu Ihejirika and members, said that it was unfortunate that the government was sabotaging the country’s education sector.
The ASUU chief informed that the goal of the indefinite strike was to compel the government to address various issues affecting ASUU.
He listed some of the issues to include “funding for the revitalisation of public universities based on the Federal Government-ASUU Memorandum of Understanding of 2012, 2013 and 2017.
“Reconstitution of the current government team to allow for a leader and chairman of the Federal Government-ASUU renegotiation team who has the interest of the nation and its people at heart.
“Release of the forensic audit report on Earned Academic Allowances payments, settlement of all outstanding Earned Academic Allowances and mainstreaming of same into salaries, beginning with the 2018 budget.”
He also listed payment of Earned Academic Allowances to ASUU members at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, without further delay as one of the demands.
Echereobia said that the FG must pay all arrears of shortfall in salaries to al universities that have met the verification requirements of the presidential initiative on continuous Audit.
He said, We demand the provision of a platform by the federal government for ASUU to engage governors on the proliferation of universities, underfunding of university education and undue interference in the affairs of state universities. “