Sunday, February 25, 2024

ASUU strike continues for 12 more weeks

Uba Group

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has extended the ongoing strike for another 12 weeks.

The ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in a statement made available on Monday, said that this would give the government time to address outstanding issues.

The decision by ASUU came after its National Executive Council meeting which started on Sunday night at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja.

The statement titled, ‘Update on ASUU roll-over strike,’ read, “After extensive deliberations, noting Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01am. on Monday, 9th May 2022.

“The meeting was called to review developments since the Union declared an eight-week total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its emergency NEC meeting at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja on 14th March, 2022. The strike action came on the heels of the Government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the Union in December 2020 on renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, Earned Academic Allowances, funding for revitalization of public universities (both Federal and States), proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries (owed for over 20 months in some cases), and Non-emittance of third-party deductions.

“NEC was equally disappointed that ASUU’s only meeting with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee did not reflect the expected level of understanding, preparation and clarity that undergird collective bargaining going by the Committee’s confession of going about consulting stakeholders.

“Unless urgent steps are taken to redirect the Committee on concluding a draft Agreement that has been pending since May 2021, its activities may end up as another wild goose chase.

“NEC was shocked that public universities have remained closed for about three months while members of the political class were busy purchasing expression of interest and nomination forms worth several millions of Naira in preparations for 2023 elections! Those in power turned their back on our degraded universities as they shuttle between Europe and America to celebrate the graduation of their children and wards from world class universities. This speaks volumes on the level of depravity, insensitivity, and irresponsibility of Nigeria’s opportunistic and parasitic political class.

“The result of the criminal neglect of education and gross mismanagement of the nation’s patrimony is evident in the collapse of the security architecture of our nation. Insecurity is getting worse by the day and spreading like the harmattan inferno in hitherto peaceful and secured parts of Nigeria, including university campuses. ASUU warns, once more, that unless something drastic is done to reverse these ugly trends, the country may be headed for a state of anarchy.

“NEC condemned the provocative statements of some government functionaries and salutes the Nigerian Labour Congress, patriotic students’ groups and civil society organisations who have taken steps towards resolving the current labour dispute with the Nigeria government.

“NEC found the planned overseas trip organised by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities’ Spouses despicable and condemnable. The advertised five-day conference in Istanbul is a waste of scarce resources of our universities; it is insensitive and provocative, particularly at a time like this when lecturers are denied their salaries for daring to struggle to improve the lot of our public universities.”

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