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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Cost of living: 46 professors, others die in UNIABUJA, FUTMinna — ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Abuja zone, on Monday, lamented the death of some of its members owing to Economic hardship in the country alongside poor remuneration of academics and unfavourable working conditions.

The union revealed that about 46 academics lost their lives in universities under the Abuja zone.

Thia was disclosed by the zonal coordinator, ASUU, Abuja zone, Salahu Muhammed in a statement made available to journalist in Abuja.

The universities mentioned are the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University.

The union further disclosed that it recently lost an eminent Professor of Fisheries, Johnson Oyero, of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, due to the inability to afford quality medical facilities.

Other universities affected include Lafia, Nasarawa State University, Nasarawa, and the Ibrahim Babaginda University, Lapai.

“In the last decade, more Nigerian academics are leaving the country in droves in search of greener pastures, thereby overworking the patriotic ones that remain in the system whose level of patriotism is dwindling on a daily basis due to poor remuneration and working conditions.

“It is also worthy of note that the union has lost several members during the period under review due to herculean working conditions, psychological and emotional stress, and diseases related to these conditions. For instance, universities in the Abuja zone have lost 46 members.

“In fact, just two days back, the union lost an eminent Professor of Fisheries, Johnson Oyero of the Federal University of Technology, Minna due to inability to afford quality medical facility.”

Speaking further in the statement, Muhammed said the union was also appalled by the failure of the Tinubu-led administration to honour some of the commitments it made with the union in a bid to avert potential industrial actions in universities.

The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, had earlier announced some of the plans of the current administration to ensure that academics are satisfied to prevent industrial actions.

Tahir noted that the government would implement a 35 per cent salary increase for professors as recommended by the previous administration.

He also noted that university academics will be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. The issue of the IPPIS has been a major bone of contention between the Federal Government and ASUU.

But Muhammed, while calling on the government to revisit all past agreements immediately, said the government has reneged on its promise.

“In conclusion, the union is calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to live up to its expectations on the following: Conclude, sign, and immediately implement the Prof. Nimi Briggs’ committee renegotiated agreement.

“Immediate payment of all withheld salaries, release of promotion arrears, and Earned Academic Allowances.

“Immediate implementation of salary award (25 per cent and 35 per cent) and payment of its arrears from January 2023 to date in order to avoid backlogs; Federal and State governments should stop the proliferation of universities and Immediate implementation of exemption of universities from the IPPIS.

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