We are yet to be briefed by national body, says UNIBEN ASUU chairman

24 hours after an agreement was reached between striking universities and the federal government, the national body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is yet to reach out to the local chapters of the association.

The federal government had on Friday, made some concessions to the striking university lecturers when it offered N65 billion to Nigerian universities to address some of their demands and also pay them their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform instead of the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).

The University of Benin (UNIBEN) chapter chairman of the union, Prof. Joy Omoregie told Tribune Online that he only got to know of the agreement reached between the parent organization and the federal government from the media.

Omoregie said that members at the local chapters will only converge for a congress to deliberate on the far reaching decisions after they have been properly briefed.

The chairman said: “We only learnt of the outcome of the meeting in the media. We are still waiting for our principal to brief us. It’s only after a proper and detailed briefing that we can act. Once we are briefed, we will then call a congress. As at now, we are still waiting for directive from our principal.”

Omoregie insisted that he could only speak on whether the terms of settlement between the union and the federal government were favourable or not until he gets an official account from the national body, adding that it is only after then that the issue of ratification of the agreement will come up.

Apart from the controversial new payment method, IPPIS other issues in contention are the revitalisation fund for public universities, arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and the visitation to universities.

The university lecturers who have been on total strike since last March are also kicking against the proliferation of state universities and issues of governance and the conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.

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