The Academic Staff Union in the Colleges of Education (COEASU) on Thursday directed its members nationwide to immediately embark on an indefinite strike over welfare and other working conditions.

The President of COEASU, Nuhu Ogirima, who gave the directive at a press briefing in Abuja, accused the Federal Government of failing to provide outstanding N441 billion for the NEEDS Assessment of the Federal Colleges of Education.

He also alleged that the federal government had been manipulating academic staff salary with the imposition of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), unilateral stoppage of payment of academic staff on sabbatical leave, imposition of non-negotiated personal income tax and over deduction of payable amount of contributory pension scheme.

The COEASU chief stressed that efforts to get the federal government to address the demands failed to yield results.

He said the directive took effect from Thursday.

Ogirima said: “We have directed our members nationwide to withdraw their services with effect from today (Thursday).

“It is quite evident that the union’s agitation is an existential struggle geared towards revitalisation of the College of Education system. As the main entity for the training of the teachers and managers of the foundation level of the nation’s education system, the sustained neglect of the College of Educations portends a grave implication for the development of the entire educational system.

“So, the union hereby formally declares that all options are open for an industrial action against the Federal Government and some notorious state governments. The public should take notice that the NEC shall reconvene shortly to unveil the series of measures that the union shall take towards bailing the College of Education system from the doldrums and further decadence inherent in the wanton neglect by the government.”