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We ‘ve lost 46 members to economic hardship – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abuja zone, said it has lost 46 members due to the current economic hardship in the country, alongside poor remuneration of academicians and universities in the zone.

The Abuja Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Salihu Muhammed Lawal, who disclosed this while briefing journalists on Monday, February 19, 2024, in Abuja, said the union lost several members due to herculean working conditions, psychological and emotional stress and diseases related to poor working conditions.

“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 care,” Lawal said.

The 46 deceased academics are from the University of Abuja; Federal University of Technology, Minna; Federal University, Lafia; Nasarawa State University and Ibrahim Babaginda University, Lapai, Niger State.

“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,” he said.

Lawal lamented payment of their members an amputated two-month salaries by the federal government out of the seven and half months withheld salaries.

He said despite the order by President Ahmed Bola Tinubu for the release and payment of their withheld salaries, of which the value had reduced to a quarter of what it was as in 2022, some of his members reportedly received an amputated two-month salaries, while many were yet to get anything.

He called on the federal government to sign and implement the Prof Nimi Briggs committee’s renegotiation agreement and immediately pay all the withheld salaries, promotion arrears and Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

Lawal also called for the immediate implementation of salary award of 25 per cent and 35 per cent and payment of their arrears from January, 2023, to date.

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