THE Academic Staff Union of Colleges of Education (COEASU) on Thursday suspended all the community services across the country while threatening full scale nationwide industrial action over neglect of the colleges and failure of both Federal and State Governments to meet demands of the Union.
National President of COEASU, Nuhu Ogirima announced this in Abuja while briefing newsman on the continuous neglect of the Colleges of Education by the governments at all levels.
He accused the Federal Government of mutilating salaries of lecturers through the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) forced on tertiary institutions.
He described as obsolete the condition of service to which the College of Education academic staff has been in the last decade, saying the Federal Government deliberately stalled the renegotiation of 2010 FGN-COASU Agreement.
The gross under-funding of COEs has been abysmally consistent with FGN. Quite unfortunately, State governments toe the line of FGN in this regard.
“It could be said that FGN encourages irresponsibility towards funding obligations. The issue of funding affects the system in all ramification. For example, between 2012 and 2017 the funds released as capital allocation to COEs by FGN stood at just about 56% of the budgeted sums.
“A little while before the period in question, especially from 2006 to 2008, the totality of allocation to COEs relative to other sister institutions, was appalling.
“Currently, FGN has been manipulating academic staff salary with the imposition of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in several ways; from the unilateral stop of payment of academic staff on Sabbatical Leave, the imposition of non-negotiated Personal Income Tax, to over-deduction of the payable amount of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
“So, the union hereby formally declares that all options are open for industrial action against FGN and some notorious state governments.
“The public should take notice that the NEC shall reconvene shortly to unveil the series of measures that the union shall take towards bailing the COE system from the doldrums and further decadence inherent in the wanton neglect by government, “Ogirima stated.
Regarding the obsolete Act, the COEASU Boss said, “There is a need to review the establishment Act of FCEs: which has been the springboard for those of the State colleges, is quite obsolete. Enacted in 1986, the law reflects the initial location of most of the Colleges as against their current States brought about by the creation of States over the years.
“Besides, the reality of the functions of the institutions believe the initial conception of their mandate. By implication, most of the services of these institutions could be conveniently termed illegal in the face of the law. Thus, the situation has made it imperative for a review of the Act to reflect such realities.
“So, with the agitation of the Union in 2018, there was an expeditious passage of the Bill by the 7th National Assembly. Sadly, it was not transmitted to Mr President for assent. Hence, the need for the 8th National Assembly (NASS) to institute a fresh legislative process, as a matter of urgency, to re-enact the Law”.