The Academic Staff union of Universities, (ASUU) has lamented that the upward review in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff by the Federal government was another added blow to the suffering Nigerian masses.
It equally frowned at the plans of the government to re-open universities across the country, describing it as an invitation to another wave of COVID -19 pandemic. The Zonal coordinator of the Akure zone of the union, Prof Olu Olu fayo at a press conference in Akure expressed disappointment at the silence posture of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) over the anti-masses policies of the federal government. Olufayo after the union’s zonal meeting said the various increases in tariff will bring untold hardship on Nigerians who are still struggling with the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on them.
“The recent upward review in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff has added another blow to the suffering of the masses of this nation. “This definitely would affect all other sectors of the economy, be it transport, food items and school fees and other services, even when governments are not living to its expectations of regular payment of salaries of workers” On the calls for the reopening of tertiary institutions in the country amidst COVID-19 pandemic, the union said despite the plan to reopen schools, “ASUU is not thinking of backing out of its struggle until government attend to their demands. The union said apart from the government’s failure to attend to their demands, it noted that no higher institution of learning in the country can comply with the COVID-19 protocols, due to the high number of students in these schools.
Olufayo noted that without addressing most of the established guidelines, reopening of schools now may trigger more consequences which might be difficult for the nation to manage.” For now, no institution is ready for resumption. We won’t want to endanger the lives of our members and that of the students. You don’t have to risk people’s lives in the desperate bid to reopen schools in the country. He explained that ASUU did not embark on industrial action as a result of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) but because of “the sorry state of our universities which the government miraculously wants to tur n first-class overnight The union asked the federal government to tackle the rots in the country institutions, attend to the security challenges in the country and also to weigh the better alternative to the federal government IPPIS rather than resorting to cheap blackmail. “The office of the Accountant General of the Federation has resorted to cheap blackmail again ASUU and the union decided not to respond any longer to the balderdash of the ignoramus team of experts and concentrated on the development of a better alternative called University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) which was unveiled some weeks ago to the Minister of Education”.