ASUU And The Unending Agitations

ASUU And The  Unending Agitations

For many Nigerians, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has become synonymous with incessant strike, thus depicting the group as one given to a riotous pre-occupation, having been on a combative posture with its employers- various state governments and the Federal Government.

Relying on statistics, ASUU has come a full cycle with its strike regimes, keeping many guessing if ever its demands are ever met at any point in time.
Statistics on these unending strikes in the tertiary education sector in the country paint a picture that all is not well with the nation’s academia expected to be a crucial adjunct in the making of modern societies.
The current ASUU strike has not been different from previous ones except for the fact that it is not clear how long this will last. In heat of all these are the students, parents and guardians that bear the brunt of some of these avoidable repetitive floundering.
ASUU is worried this time that no substantial progress has been made on the implementation of 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements, Memorandum of Understanding 2012 and 2013) and Memorandum of Action 2017) and the truncation of the renegotiation of the union’s agreements. The goal of the strike is to compel government to address the funding for revitalisation of public universities based on the FGN-ASUU MoU of 2012, 2013 and the MoA of 2017. The union wants the reconstitution of the current government team to allow for a leader and chairman who has the interest of the nation and its people at heart; release of the forensic audit report on Earned Academic Allowances, payments of all outstanding earned academic allowances and mainstreaming of the same into salaries beginning with the 2018 budget; payment of all arrears of shortfall in salaries to all universities that have met the verification requirements of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit; and release of the University Pension Fund operational licence.
From the foregoing we can see that these issues are not just emerging.
AljahzirahNigeria sees through the pains of the striking lecturers who have been on this long drawn battle. It is not an apparent inkling that stakeholders, especially the government and the striking lecturers are interested in a secured future for the nation given that over 90% of average Nigerians yearning and qualified for tertiary education rely on the public system that has over the years been desecrated and mangled by the nonchalant disposition of its handlers who ironically at one time or the other were core beneficiaries of a system they now neglect.
It is a sad commentary to note that many of today’s political and bureaucratic leaders have the luxury of sending their wards abroad for tertiary education, hence bother very little what happens on the home front.
We urge quickly that it is akin to sitting on a time bomb, if there are no strategic measures directed at boosting education at all levels, more so at the at tertiary level which is stretched beyond limits with unwholesome tendencies.
Making education available to teeming Nigerians is no luxury even as it should be viewed as doing some favour to the citizenry but should be seen as a necessity which concern should not elude the powers that be.
The striking lecturers are waiting for the implementation of long-standing agreements reached between them and the government and we are of the position that not making good these promises amounts to reneging on compromises and therefore smacks of lack of integrity. We also observe that ASUU has been long suffering; taking the strike as a last resort after several futile recourse to dialogue.
AljahzirahNigeria calls for an increased budget for education so as to enable it meet fundamental issues pertaining to the sector that is in dire need of a turn-around.
We caution against the extreme threats often made by government of a resort to no-work-no-pay policy as its response to ASUU strike and in some instances more severe sanctions which are likely to further dislocate an already traumatised system.

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