After serious deliberations that dragged into the early hours of Monday, the National Executive Council, NEC, of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has voted to embark on one-month warning strike to press home its demands from the government.
A source at the meeting held in Lagos told Vanguard in confidence that the strike is to allow the Federal Government do the needful failure to which the union would go on an indefinite strike.
“We just want to give the government a long rope hoping that it would see the need to avoid a total paralysis of academic activities in the nation’s universities. We are parents too and have our children in the system but we cannot watch and allow the total collapse of education in the country.
“Our agitation is in the interest of all and if the system is made better, we will all enjoy it. Prominent personalities in the country have waded into the matter but the government seems recalcitrant. Our National President would explain more when he briefs the press later today,” he said.
Recall that the union has been agitating for a number of demands including the payment of Earned Academic Allowance, revitalization fund, the replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, with the University Transparency and Accountability System UTAS, among others.
The union had expressed grievances over the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil some of the agreements it made as far back as 2009. ASUU had on November 15, 2021, given the federal government a three-week ultimatum over the failure to meet the demands.
The lecturers threatened to embark on another round of industrial action following the alleged “government’s unfaithfulness” in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union, leading to the suspension of the 2020 strike action.
After the union’s National Executive Council meeting at the University of Abuja on November 13 and 14, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, lamented that despite meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on October 14, 2021, on issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment, none of its demands had been met.
Following the threat, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, promised that the union would be paid.
A few weeks after, ASUU suspended the planned strike, as N22.1 billion earned allowances were paid to lecturers in federal universities.
On the heels of the union’s renewed agitations, the co-chairmen of the National Inter-religious Council, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar III, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, visited the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last month, over the lack of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding the government signed with ASUU in 2009 and others.