Underpaying Academics: FG Deliberately Encouraging Corruption-ASUU

Gift Samuel, The Sight News

Abuja- The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has on Wednesday declared that the shortfalls in the payment of salaries to academics by the Federal Government may led to corruptive tendencies in order to make ends meet.

ASUU lamented that its members in many federal universities still receive 60 per cent and 80 per cent of their monthly salaries which is contrary to an agreement the Senate Committee made in early 2016 to facilitate a virement fund to address the issue of shortfalls.

The ASUU President, Comrade Biodun Ogunyemi while briefing news men in Abuja, said that the government may surreptitiously be encouraging corruption in the Nigeria University System(NUS) by deliberately underpaying academics and other workers in the system.

He however stressed that when workers are not rewarded for job done, they are exposed to the temptations of cutting corners and corruptive tendencies to make ends meet.

According to him; “NEC, having discussed the shortfalls in the payment of salaries, resolved that, as from the end of March 2017, ASUU members should reject any form of fractional payment of salaries as well as not release of subvention to state universities”.

Meanwhile, the ASUU President also noted that on the issue of part payment of Earned Academic Allowances owed academics, the NEC after its meeting resolved that the union must, “Insist on payment of all outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) at the end of the Federal Ministry of Finance’s forensic audit not later than July 2017″.

He said; ” The decision of ASUU-NEC on the EAA has since been communicated to the Minister of Education, the Senate President and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND. Our expectations is that the six month forensic audit promised ASUU would be completed and the entitlements of our members fully paid not later than July 2017″.

While reacting to a court verdict to the effect that staff Primary Schools belonged to the Universities and governments who own the universities also own the schools, Ogunyemi stressed that Staff Primary Schools are part of the welfare packages for ASUU members, adding that they shall continued to resist ongoing efforts to commercialize the school through the back-door.

Ogunyemi however took a swipe at the present administration, noting that Democracy is not equivalent to elections, also pointing out that the biggest obstacle to Democracy is Nigeria’s ruling class that has since 1970 caused economic, political and social crisis for the citizens.

Also speaking, a Member, Board of Trustee, ASUU Comrade Oladipo Fashina noted that Nigeria needs a new political ideology, adding that the way of substituting government from one group to another will not help the country.

While stating that no ruling party can deliver the fundamental objectives of the Nigerian State, he emphatically said that a People’s party is needed to organise resistance to neo-liberalism and neo-conservativism.

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