ASUU Extends Strike By 12 Months

ASUU Extends Strike By 12 Months

By Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) has extended its ongoing strike by 12 weeks.

A statement signed by ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said this was to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

It added that the roll-over strike was effective from 12.01 am, May 9, 2021.

ASUU said it took this decision after its National Executive Council meeting which started on Sunday night at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja.

The press release titled, ‘Update on ASUU roll-over strike,’ stated that 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 (MoA) it signed with the Union in December 2020 on renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), 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,” the statement added.

It added that NEC noted with serious disappointment that the three-man Committee set up by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 1st February 2022 to resolve the lingering issues between ASUU and FGN had not called a single meeting to date.

The union stated that 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.

ASUU  also condemned Federal Government’s cavalier attitude towards the strike action in the last twelve weeks, saying the government’s resort to the use of starvation as a weapon for breaking the collective resolve of ASUU members was ill-advised and may prove counterproductive.

It expressed 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,” it stated.

The Union’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.