ASUU strike: UNIABUJA VC Insists On Not Lecturers

Few weeks to the end of the tenure of Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja Prof James Adelabu, the University is on another round of academic crisis.

The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) University of Abuja Chapter (the splinter group)on Monday started an indefinite strike over non payment of their check-off dues by the VC.

The Chairman of the Varsity’s ASUU, Mr Ben Ugheoke said that the union had resolved to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from Monday until all their demands were met which includes: payment of their check-off dues for the last three years and other allowances.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government on July 16, 2012 constituted a visitation panel to resolve issues affecting the institution but the white paper of the report had yet to be released.

But in a swift reaction the Vice Chancellor, Prof James Adelabu while talking with journalists in Abuja denied owing ASUU and check-up dues, saying the school management has fully paid all the check-off dues to the union.
He accused ASUU UniAbuja of smearing his image.

According to the VC, “The union has its ulterior motives behind the baseless demands and strike challenging them to tell the public the whole truth.

“ASUU owe the public the responsibility of telling them the right thing. As far back as April last year before government even announced that, I stopped the issue of check-off, that is the union’s dues which we help to collect directly from source and remit to them, these monies are paid along with their salaries and the union know very well that the check-off are paid alongside their salaries to them individually.

“There had earlier been a directive as regards to check-up during strike, the document is there but up till now there is no repel to that, I wonder how they now come up with the latest allegation that I refused to remit their check-off dues, if you as an individual is owing the union, you already have your salary paid in full, why don’t you take it and pay to the union?”, he queried.

Speaking on the allegation that he opened a bank account where he has been lodging the monies met for the check-off dues, Adelabu chided the lecturers for trading in lies”.

“Some alleged that I opened an account, it is very sad when you see academia’s talking ignorantly as illiterates, if I opened an account as alleged, they should investigate and tell the world the truth. We are not withholding any money or dues belonging to the union, nothing has been deducted, the check-off is paid along with their salaries, they have it in their pockets, what else do I remit to them?”.

On the issue of allowances, the VC said “there are no allowances approved by the government that I am holding on to. If you are talking about our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) sources, I can tell you that some people are disgruntled on how the monies are appropriated.

“One problem is that, the public has not been told the truth, what is basically causing the problem is the issue of sharing formula of all IGR. We usually workout the percentage and after paying the resource persons, my own opinion is that the rest of the money belong to the university and that is what we have done. So, the school is not with holding any allowances to the union”.

Meanwhile, Mr Ugheoke, the Uniabuja ASUU chairman alleged that facts available to the union showed that funds allocated to the institution were being misappropriated, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof James Adelabu, was misusing power.

He alleged that the vice-chancellor deliberately refused to pay their teaching, marking, supervision and professional allowances dating back to 2010.

The union also alleged that the vice-chancellor refused to check off their dues.

“The vice-chancellor in April 2013 checked off our dues as it is mandated by the Trade Union Act and some levies but the fund was yet to be remitted to the union’s account”, he alleged.

VNTI UNIABUJA

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About Obasi Chinedu

Obasi Chinedu Is an Author at www.nigerianuniversitynews.com. He is a member of the Nigerian Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). You can reach out to Him On Twitter via @Obasi_Chinedu

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