In a bid to prevent potential industrial actions across the nation’s universities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Sokoto State chapter has urged the federal government to urgently implement the 2009 agreement reached with the union.

This call was made in a statement jointly signed by Muhammad Nurudeen Almustapha, Chairman of the Union at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, and Saidu Isah Abubakar, Chairman at Sokoto State University.

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The statement emphasized the need for the immediate implementation of the Nimi Briggs Committee report, which was submitted to the federal government in 2022 after extensive negotiations under the legally approved method of collective bargaining as per the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 98.

The negotiations were seen as a resolution to the delay tactics employed by the government over the past 15 years.

Despite the efforts of three consecutive committees, the federal government unilaterally awarded a mere 25% and 35% salary increase, disregarding the collective bargaining process.

ASUU urged the President Tinubu-led administration to promptly sign the Nimi Briggs renegotiated draft document as a gesture of goodwill and assurance for Nigeria’s public universities.

The statement warned that ASUU members are at their breaking point and only concrete actions to restore their morale and improve their conditions will ensure lasting peace on campuses.

Regarding the withheld salaries from the 2022 strike action, ASUU explained that the strike was suspended after interventions from notable figures, including the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar, and the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, now Chief of Staff Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Despite these interventions, only four out of seven and a half months of salaries were paid.

ASUU called on the federal government to urgently settle all outstanding salaries of university lecturers nationwide.

The union highlighted that several formal and informal meetings were held, and promises were made to meet ASUU’s demands and release the withheld salaries.

However, only part of the salaries was released. ASUU asserted that there is no justification for withholding lecturers’ salaries, especially for work that has already been completed.

Furthermore, the value of the withheld salaries has significantly depreciated due to the massive devaluation of the Naira over the past year.

ASUU called on both the federal and state governments to urgently pay all outstanding salaries to university lecturers, stressing the importance of fulfilling these obligations to maintain peace and stability in the education sector.