Schools reopening: Abide by NCDC’s protocols, ASUU tells FG

Following the call from several quarters for the reopening of universities in the country, the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), Abuja Zone, has advised the Federal Government to strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) before taking any such decision.


This came as the union commended President Muhammadu Buhari for constituting a special visitation panel to look into the crisis rocking the University of Lagos. Addressing newsmen  yestrrday in Abuja, ASSU Abuja Zonal Coordinator, Prof. Theophilus Lagi, said despite its desire to return to the classroom, there was the need to apply caution in order to avoid putting more lives at risk.


“The union is not insensitive to the general clamour for the reopening of public universities in Nigeria in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We advise that this should happen only when government, as a matter of urgency, implement the MoA of 7th February, 2019, signed with ASUU.


“Adhere to NCDC protocol of safeguarding the lives of students, lecturers and workers in the universities such as providing means of ensuring social distancing in all hostels, classrooms, lecture theatres and auditoriums in all the public universities in the country.


“Provision of hand sanitiser, temperature taking devices, face masks, running water and soap facilities to students and staff in the universities at all times. Provision of testing centres and isolation facilities in all public universities.”


Expressing solidarity with their colleagues at the University of Lagos in their struggle to disentangle from what he termed; ‘Wale Babalakin and his esoteric management ideas from the affairs of that university,” he described Babalakin as being notorious for impunity and highhandedness.


“Not only in the affairs of UNILAG, but has also constituted the clog, a spanner in the wheel of the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU- FGN agreement. We welcome the Federal Government’s recent decision on the UNILAG saga and hope that it marked the end of Babalakin’s era in the  affairs of public universities in the country.”


On the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Lagi noted that as against the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), it was more beneficial to the university system as it guarantees automation of staff and salary administration, allows tracking of staff career progression, exhibits ease of auditing processes, permits data mining for intelligent analysis and guarantees national security and sovereignty.


“UTAS recognises all agreements entered into between the government and university-based trade unions; ensures simultaneous payment of employees’ salaries and third party deductions, pension, union dues, cooperatives, bank loans seamlessly.


“It allows for centralised monitoring of staff and staff emolument across universities by the National Universities Commission (NUC), allows universities to adapt to the fluidity in nature, type and period of recruitment of staff, and facilities storage and automated retrieval of personnel records for effective monitoring.”




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