The Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) has issued a 21 days ultimatum effective from Monday 9th May 2022 for government to address all her demands or face industrial action.
The Union in a communique after her National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at Federal College of Education, Okene, Kogi state, called on well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the tertiary education sector to prevail on government to urgently take appropriate actions before the ultimatum lapses.
The communique which was jointly signed by the president, Dr. Smart Olugbeko and general secretary Ahmed Bazza Lawan, respectively said the union will proceed on strike at the expiration of the ultimatum without further notice.
The communique reads, ” NEC specifically noted with dismay that the Dilly-Dallying Posture of Government to Renegotiation of COEASU-FGN 2010 AgreementWhile the long anticipated renegotiation of COEASU-FGN 2010 Agreement holds enormous promise for mutual resolution of several challenges bedevilling the COE system, the FG has failed to accord the exercise deserved priority. Ridiculously, the FG has refused to constitute her own renegotiation team after acknowledging receipt of our Union’s team list on her own request for over two months now.
“Non-Release of Pledged N15b Revitalization Fund Government has refused to accede to our demand for the fulfilment of her own pledge of N15b revitalization fund.
“Apart from being a far cry from N478b being the outcome of the 2014 Presidential Needs Assessment across public COEs, the delay in its release has made nonsense of the value due to inflation.
“More ludicrously, media reports quoted the Minister for Education as having said, on various public occasions, that the revitalization fund had been released by the FG, whereas what we received was a call to propose modalities for the disbursement. The frustrating wait for the disbursement of this fund has continued ever thereafter.
“Poor Funding of Colleges of Education and Poor Conditions across State-owned COEs in spite of our agitations and Government’s persistent promise of redress, both Federal and State COEs remain poorly funded; reign of impunity, statutory breach and administrative aberration persists; our members, especially in State COEs, continue to suffer untold hardships through non-payment of salary and salary arrears, refusal to implement the statutory salary structure in full, extraneous promotion criteria, idiosyncratic policies, non/improper domestication of 65-year retirement age for workers in the COE system, multiple promotions without financial effects, repression of Union activities, to mention just a few. Many Colleges find it difficult to run smoothly due to non-release of running cost by Government. Many State Governments have abdicated their responsibility as proprietors to TETFund, as the only projects you see in the Colleges are TETFund projects.
“FG’s Recalcitrant Insistence on IPPIS against more reliable alternative of UTAS. The Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) is causing more havoc to tertiary institutions than good. Up till the end of March, 2022, one thousand two hundred and nineteen (1,219) lecturers in COEs are experiencing one problem or the other with IPPIS. COEASU has demanded the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), an alternative innovation of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). UTAS has been found superior to IPPIS as it has the capacity to address our payroll security concerns and the peculiarities of tertiary institutions. It is therefore ludicrous that FG has remained adamant on retaining IPPIS despite its injurious effects.
“After extensive deliberations on the outcome of referendum conducted across Chapters of the Union, NEC resolved to issue Government a 21-day ultimatum beginning Monday 9th May, 2022.
“NEC further resolved that in the unexpected event that Government fails to do the needful within the period of the ultimatum, the Union shall declare appropriate industrial action.
“Finally, NEC called on well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the tertiary education sector to prevail on Government to urgently take appropriate actions before this ultimatum lapses”.