The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged the Federal Government to meet its demands for improved welfare and administrative conditions in public universities or it will go on strike in two weeks.

During a press conference held at Abia State University (ABSU), Uturu, on Friday, Mrs. Happiness Uduk, ASUU’s Zonal Coordinator for Calabar Zone, emphasized that addressing these demands is crucial to prevent an impending nationwide strike.

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Uduk highlighted the FG’s failure to fulfill commitments made under the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement, which resulted in stagnant salary scales and minimal welfare improvements over the past 15 years.

“ASUU members have been on the same salary scale for 15 years without any change,” Uduk lamented. “We urge the government to complete the negotiations initiated over 13 years ago, under different teams, and take into account current economic realities such as inflation and exchange rates.”

She urged urgent action on renegotiating the terms, addressing issues like the revitalization fund for public universities, payment of academic allowances, withheld salaries, high taxation, and alleged victimization of ASUU members.

Additionally, Uduk stressed ASUU’s insistence on removing its members from the Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS), proposing the use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution or similar platforms developed internally by universities.

Regarding student finances, she proposed replacing the FG’s student loan scheme with grants to ease financial burdens and enhance academic pursuits.

Uduk also called for a halt to the proliferation of universities and instead advocated for increased funding to improve standards in existing institutions.

On a state level, she urged the Abia Government to settle the 11-month salary arrears owed to ABSU lecturers promptly. She criticized the use of the Treasury Single Account for salary payments, suggesting a system aligned with the university’s operational needs.

The ASUU coordinator also highlighted grievances at Ebonyi State University, where some members have allegedly been suspended without pay for over two years, calling on the state government for their immediate reinstatement.

She concluded by stating that ASUU’s ongoing engagement with stakeholders aims to urge the government to act swiftly. If unresolved, ASUU plans to commence a nationwide strike in two weeks.