The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on a nationwide strike for over five months as a result of the federal government’s non-fulfillment of the agreement that was reached with the academic union of an improved funding and better welfarism for its members. This industrial strike that commenced as a four-week warning strike on the February 14, 2022 have intensely affected students of federal institutions, who are now collateral damage of the federal government’s series of failed meetings with the union.
Due to the Federal Government’s complacency at fulfilling its agreement, the Academic union has announced their intention to further extended the ongoing nationwide strike by four weeks. This decision was reached by ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC), after an intense meeting on Sunday which lasted till Monday. This extension was described as a result of the union’s deliberations, recognizing the recurring failures of the federal government at fulfilling its own part of the bargain by resolving the issues raised at the FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MOA) that held in 2020.
Extended strike to provide federal government with time to resolve issues.
The president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke made it known that this decision to rollover the strike was to provide the federal government with more time, so as to resolve all outstanding issues with the union. According to him, the issues that the government have failed to resolve ranges from the government’s failure at concluding the renegotiation process of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, deploying the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), as well as the payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
Professor Emmanuel Osodeke continued, stating the government’s non-fulfillment at paying up the agreed funds that is meant for the revitalization of public universities (federal and state), the failure to address the proliferation and structural problems of state universities, resolving outstanding promotion arrears and withheld salaries of the workers were reasons for the continued nationwide strike. He had also stated that while NEC viewed the directive of the president, commanding the Minister of Education, in relation with other governmental officials to evaluate the issue, salvage the situation and give a report in two weeks, the union is shocked as to how this has lasted over five months without any viable solution.
Osodeke said universities must not be subjected to constituency projects.
Osodeke asserted that the National Executive Council appreciated the support for the union’s demands for a highly improved learning environment that can compete globally, stating that Nigerian universities must not be subjected to constituency projects that witnesses zero concrete improvements. He also noted that the government must ensure that the country’s scholars be incentivized, to make them stay in the country and improve the educational system by their own means. NEC also acknowledged the nationwide protests organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Civil Society Organization that was aimed at sensitizing the people on the complacent antics of the ruling class at under developing the public institutions.
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) announced the union’s renewal of its commitment of propagating the struggles of the NLC in advocating for the improvement in the working situations of Nigerians. According to the released statement, NEC also observed that the government’s failure at signing the renegotiated 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement draft after being concluded by a committee led by Prof. Mimi Briggs was a move that continues to task the patience of the union’s members.
Suspension of Accountant-General vindicates union’s choice to reject IPPIS.
Professor Emmanuel Osodeke however noted that the suspension of the federation’s Accountant-General, Mr. Ahmed Idris on the allegation of indulging in fraudulent activities was clear indication of the union’s decision to reject the proposed Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS). He also stated that ASUU will legitimately resist every slight attempt to cut short the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS). It was however resolved that the rollover strike must effectively commence from August 1st, 2022.
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