ASUU Strike Latest Update 2019 | Has ASUU Strike 2019 Been Called Off?
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Despite Buhari’s matching order to Ngige, FG fails to end ASUU strike(1hr Ago)(1/22/2019)
THE Federal Government, yesterday, failed in its efforts to convince the Academic Staff Union of Universities,ASUU,to end the ongoing strike despite initial matching order for its representative at a meeting with the lecturer body to that effect.
After about four hours of the meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, led by the Minister,Senator Chris Ngige,the end result was deadlock. The development followed the inability of both parties to shift common grounds.
ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi,speaking at the end of the marathon meeting, vowed that his organisation would continue with the ongoing strike unless government met the demands being pushed by the union Ogunyemi, speaking at the rescheduled meeting with the government,said: “We have not suspended the strike, the discussion will continue at a later date. We are going back to our members for further consultation. FG gave us reaction to our proposals but there were still grey areas that we are trying to sort out. “Before the strike can be suspended, the most critical area that FG must address is revitalization. It is central to our academic work, unless that area is addressed, our members will still have issues. We are not demanding for N50bn, we are saying that the minimum that FG can release to reactivate revitalization fund is N50bn.”
On his part, Senator Chris Ngige, who led government’s delegation, regretted that in spite of “substantial commitment to ASUU demands”, the body was yet to shift grounds. Ngige,who expressed frustration at the development, said the government’s team would meet the leadership of ASUU again when they were prepared. Ngige,who said he appeared at the meeting with hope of ending the strike as directed by President Buhari,regretted that the aim was not achieved.
“We did not take a long time than we anticipated. We have other commitments but the important thing is that we have made substantial progress. We have reached some agreements in seven areas. Most of the issues have been resolved but ASUU will need to consult its members and come with what they think,” he said.
Those who pulled out of strike will regret it – ASUU (3Hrs Ago)(1/2019)
Since the Academic Staff Union of Universities commenced its nationwide strike on November 5, 2018, at least six universities have pulled out of it and opened their doors to students.
When our correspondent contacted the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, for his reaction to the development and the perceived disunity in the union’s ranks, he said the institutions that pulled out of the strike due to pressure from their vice-chancellors, or governing councils, would regret their actions in the future.
Ogunyemi said, “Those universities perceived as pulling out are certainly not against what we are asking for. Our members are in institutions like the Obafemi Awolowo University, which decided to work against us and deliberately sabotaged our efforts to reposition the universities.
“Those who said they do not agree with us are not against the funds for revitalisation that we are demanding. They are not against academic allowances or the payments of shortfalls that we ask for. They are not against fixing our universities.
“A lot of factors have to be considered when we talk about some universities pulling out. It is not that they actually mean to do so. Some intervening forces or variables may be at work. There are cases where vice-chancellors are overzealous, although they will be the greatest beneficiaries of what we are asking for. Some institutions were compelled by their governing councils to resume academic activities. In other situations, some governors or vice-chancellors deliberately created problems for us.
“Those vice-chancellors usually end up regretting their activities, but that does not stop us from resorting to our in-house procedure in dealing with chapters that pull out of national strikes. They will all be subjected to our in-house procedures.”
Ogunyemi also said that 90 per cent of the union’s members were still in support of the strike and they were not bothered about chapters that pulled out.
“Over 90 per cent of our members are still together and that is good enough for us because what we are doing now is a movement and those who fail to participate will regret their actions. They know that when the Federal Government releases funds for revitalisation, all public universities will be covered. The conscience of those who refused to participate in the strike will continue to prick them. Those who sabotaged us will have a moral burden and that is what we have always told them.
“If you go to state universities, many of the new projects you will see are technically being funded with capital funds from grants coming from NEEDs assessment and TETFund. If such universities are being forced to pull out, you will know that it is always against the wish of our members. We are not bothered,” he said.
ASUU strike nears end as details of FG’s meeting with union emerge (5Hrs Ago)(1/22/2019)
The Federal Government says it has released N163 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this while addressing newsmen after a closed-door reconciliatory meeting with ASUU leadership on Monday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the striking lecturers had embarked on strike on Nov. 5, 2018, to press home their demands.
ASUU demands included some areas of understanding in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action agreed to in 2017.
Some of these areas include shortfall in salaries of some Federal Universities’ workers and lecturers, earned allowances, revitalisation that were part of the 2009 agreement, among others.
According to Ngige, “today we have agreed to fund revitalisation.
“Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities.
“So, we have gotten some substantial agreement in most of the areas of the agreement.”
“Most of the issues have being resolved, so they are going to go back to their members and present government’s offer to their council,‘’ he said.
Ngige also said that the striking lecturers were not asking for N50 billion before they would call off the strike.
He, however, added that if the total amount of the union’s demand was aggregated it would be more than the N50 billion as the government was paying in different compartments.
“These are debts of 2009, owed by the past administration, that is 2009 to 2012, so it is not our own debt and we have been doing a lot to settle these debts.
“So, we will be reconvening at the instance of ASUU, they said they want to go and consult with their members and they cannot call off the strike without consulting with their members,’’ he said.
Earlier, the minister had said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated him to ensure that all issues concerning the ongoing strike in the university system were resolved.
“The president has directed me to pass the night here until all issues that have kept our children away from schools are resolved and strike called off.
“He has also directed me to impress upon you, the imperative of little sacrifice from all sides, knowing fully well that the revenue of the federation has dwindled from what it was before the present administration assumed office,” he said.
Ngige further said President Buhari was greatly worried about the situation in the university system, hence his steady and holistic approach to tackling the rot through adequate funding.
He said, “Mr president told me to assure you of his determination to reposition our universities as he would do everything possible to cast the present challenges in our tertiary education to dustbin of history.
Also, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, said that there were still some grey areas in the proposal presented by the Federal Government.
He said the union would look at the grey areas and would get back to the government.
“The most critical area is the revitalisation, because it is central to our work, as academics and unless that area is addressed our members will have issues with ongoing action.
“We also did not ask for N50 billion, we are saying that the minimum we expect government to release in order to reactive the revitalisation fund is N50 billion.
“So, the strike is still on,’’ he said.
Minister of education says ASUU strike will soon be called-off (2hrs Ago) (1/17/2019)
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has reportedly assured Nigerian students that the ongoing ASUU strike would soon be suspended.
Adamu while speaking at the 10th convocation ceremony of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State on Thursday, January 17, 2018, appealed to the striking lecturers to be patient with the Federal Government saying the ”strike will soon be called off.”
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked the Federal Government to release N50b to show its commitment to the agreement on revitalization of public universities.
The union’s president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said on Wednesday, January 17, 2019 as a condition for suspending the strike which started on Sunday, November 4, 2018.
The N50 billion will form the first tranche of the N220 billion government agreed for the project this year and add to the N20 billion earlier released for the year.
Ogunyemi reportedly said ASUU is not asking the government to release the whole N220 billion at once.
‘’The N50 billion they will release now, if you add to what they released, N20 billion for last year, we would have 150 billion left for the rest of the year and that has been spread over the next three quarters.
“That’s what we’ve been saying as our minimalist position,” Ogunyemi said
Recall that ASUU earlier asked the government to pay N220b as a condition for calling off the ongoing strike.
ASUU meeting ends in chaos as aggrieved members chase zonal officers (1/17/2019)
There was crisis in Ekiti as aggrieved members of ASUU disrupted the meeting hosted by the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti – Crisis broke out when aggrieved members demanded that the local chapter chairman step aside before commencing the proceeding –
The meeting was aborted when aggrieved members stormed the venue and chased away those who wanted to hold the meeting Aggrieved members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) disrupted the meeting hosted by the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, chasing zonal officers in different directions, Daily Independent reports.
We gathered that crisis broke out when aggrieved members demanded that the local chapter chairman, Dr Adeniyi Omonijo, step aside before the commencement of the meeting.
However the zonal chairman, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olu, was not willing to yield to the demand. The meeting which was billed for 1pm was aborted when irate members stormed the venue and chased away those who wanted to hold the meeting.
A leader of the union and Dean of Faculty of Arts of the university, Dr. Opoola Bolanle Tajudeen,reacting to the development, said: “There was to be a congress but there was no congress because our members felt strongly that Prof Olu Olu, who has been part of our problem in this chapter should not now come to foist any congress on us and they insisted that he cannot hold any congress when the chairman of our chapter that he is imposing on us has committed impeachment offences.
“There has been a resolution on ground that the chairman has committed impeachable offences and should go. “Our people really felt bad and demonstrated their grievances.
They spoke their mind. However there was no casualty. “The demands of our members who insist they are still part of ASUU is that current chairman of our branch Omonijo should step down because he has committed impeachable offences.
“Our people cannot allow a system where some people from outside would cone and lord over us. We have our own internal problem and we should be allowed to solve it internally. Our people want ASUU to move on but we don’t want Omonijo again.
NANS reveals what will happen if academic activities don’t resume before elections (1/17/2019)
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to boycott the 2019 general elections if the Federal Government fails to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The chairman of the Abuja chapter of NANS, Mojeed Omolaja, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, at a one-day conference organised by Online Publishers Association of Nigeria with the theme: “Free Press and objective reporting in the 2019 election year.”
Omolaja also distanced the FCT chapter of NANS from the faction of NANS led by one Akpan Daniels Bamidele, who was said to be a student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
The Bamidele-led NANS had visited President Muhammadu Buhari, where he endorsed his re-election.
Omolaja insisted that the NANS officials who paid courtesy call to the President were not fair, adding that the FCT chapter of NANS stood for integrity.
He said, “We in the FCT here are not part of those who went to eulogise the President; we stand for integrity and anything we get right in FCT will be got right in all the states of the federation because we lead and others follow.
“The Nigerian students will not vote in the forthcoming election if academic activities do not resume in the universities.
“In this forthcoming elections, we the FCT chapter of NANS that controls other chairmen in other states have deemed it fit not to participate in the election until when ASUU calls off the strike, because they can’t be playing with our future.
“Their children are going to school abroad and we are here and they still want their children to come and rule over us with their lackadaisical attitude towards our education.
“It is quite unfortunate that at this point in time students are at home doing nothing.
“The major reason we are at home is that ASUU is on strike and we expect the Federal Government to meet their demands because this incessant issue is a catastrophic setback to the students.
“Imagine somebody spending seven to eight years to finish a four-year programme. It is not done abroad. Is it because our parents don’t have the financial muscle to send us abroad?”
Lecturers speak on being used by political party to frustrate Buhari govt (1/16/2019)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has reacted to claims that it was being used by opposition political parties to frustrate the current administration.
The National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said that the union had always demanded that education be given priority.
Ogunyemi spoke to journalists after submission of the union’s reports to the Federal Government, yesterday.
He pointed out that in 2013, when the Union had embarked on strike, it was also accused of favouring the opposition.
He said, “Everybody knows that we have our own tradition of advocacy that is undaunted.
“We have our own strong conviction that we have always projected and defended on how education should be managed, supported and promoted in Nigeria and Africa.
“Look at the records. Our first agreement with government was in 1992. We were on strike for six months before we reached an agreement with the government. It was that agreement that gave birth to what we are doing today.
“Anybody that is turning round to say that we are being used, we will remind them that in 2013 when the spokesperson for a party said that ASUU was being unpatriotic and that we were ready to work for the opposition.
“The opposition then is the one in power so do we now go back to those who saw us as enemies or what? It is really laughable, myopic, unthinkable and without substance.”
Lecturers open up on why strike won’t be called off (1/12/2019)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has vowed that the ongoing strike would not be called off until the Federal Government fulfils all the agreement both parties reached in their last meeting.
ASUU said it was tired of Federal Government’s antics of making unfulfilled promises.
The lecturers insisted that the strike would be called off only if they got tangible evidence and concrete actions that the offers made to them by the Federal Government had been implemented.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this in an interview with reporters in Lagos on Thursday.
Asked when the strike would be called off, the ASUU President said, “Our members said they want to see evidence of satisfactory implementation of all they have proposed before the strike can be called off.”
On Tuesday, ASUU met with the Federal Government officials including the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, as well as his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige.
Ngige had told reporters that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance had confirmed with evidence that N15.4bn had been released to public universities.
But ASUU president continued, “As for the proposal, it can be disaggregated.
“There are items there that require implementation. If they are setting up a committee on state universities, and they actually do, it is not something we need to agree on. It is about action.
“If they have implemented it, it is off the list. If the government says it will pay a shortfall of salaries on a certain date, and the date comes and they release the money, it is also implementation. There is no agreement on the matter.
“On the revitalisation fund, we presented to the government that five tranches of N220bn each were outstanding. The government has not said it will release one, even if it is spread over a period of one year. There is no agreement on that. What they are offering is not even up to one tranche.
“Last year, they promised to release the fund but they did not till November when the strike began. Long story short, our members are saying they do not want promises again, what they want is action, implementation or disbursement of funds. The government must act in a way to convince the union that agreement has not been set aside; to show that government has not set aside the agreement, they should release one tranche.”
He explained that in order to forestall a situation ASUU and the government would restart negotiations on arrears of earned academic allowances, both sides agreed that “it would be mainstreamed into the 2019 budget.
“We are going to have a discussion on when to commence renegotiation because there are still grey areas. If the government can substantially address these issues, we will be more confident to face our members on the way forward. For now, the feeler we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.
“They said they would pay the shortfall of salary arrears of what was removed from workers’ salaries. There are 20 universities identified. The money will be available by January 18. It is around the corner and we will see if it will come.”
FG’s offer in resolving our demands still far from expectations – ASUU (1/10/2019)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the offer from the Federal Government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA) is still fluid and far from expectations.
ASUU, in Strike Bulletin 8 signed by its President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, a copy of which was obtained by DAILY POST on Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, asked its members to await rapidly unfolding developments from the strike.
As a union, ASUU said that it will not participate in the conduct of 2019 elections but its members may voluntarily participate.
Ogunyemi, in the bulletin, said the proposal from government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 MoA is still fluid and far from expectations.
He said, “Though some progress has been made with respect to discussion with Government agents (The Minister of Labour and Employment as well as Minister of Education), at the moment, the proposal from Government towards resolving the demand of ASUU as contained in 2017 MoA and Strike Bulletin 1 is still too fluid and far from expectations.
“Hence, it is the view of the NSCC that members should await further developments which are rapidly unfolding.
“In accordance with the ASUU’s long standing position, ASUU as a union will not participate in the conduct of 2019 general elections, although members may voluntarily participate in the conduct of the elections.
“However, members are prohibited from participating in the election processes using any material that bears ASUU or relates to the union.”
We are yet to reach agreement with Buhari govt – Prof. Ogunyemi (1/9/2019)
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Wednesday declared that it was yet to reach an agreement with the Federal Government over the lingering strike.
President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said the negotiations between both parties were still inconclusive.
According to Ogunyemi, the team that represented the union at the meeting with representatives of government had no final say over calling off the strike action.
Speaking with Tribune, Ogunyemi said: “It was just yesterday (Tuesday) that government sent the proposal to us without waiting for feedback before going to the public that we have reached an agreement. ASUU does not operate in that manner.
“The ASUU team that met the Federal Government would have to consult our principal over the proposal which we are already doing.
“So, ASUU cannot make a pronouncement on a mere proposal. Until our principal agrees, there is no agreement. And that is what we have always emphasised to government that we are going to consult our members and if after consultation, our members think the proposal is good enough, we will get back to government and tell them that now, we have taken a decision which becomes an agreement.
“But so far on government proposal, we have not taken a decision. And our strike is still ongoing.
“If you say you are going to set up a committee and you have set up that committee, that one is clear. And if you say you are going to pay certain money for certain purpose and you have paid, that will not also cause further argument. But where we said you should release certain amount of money in five tranches within certain period of time, and you are saying well, you have paid N20 billion, or you have paid N2 billion or N15. 4 billion, it means you haven’t started.
“So, that is the level we are now. And we don’t have a final say on any proposal that is controversial. But for areas that are not controversial as I had mentioned, we will only need to confirm payment. If paid, fine. It then means that one is settled and we now move to another one that is yet to be settled. And the one that is not settled we will need to take feedback to our members and that is the position we are at the moment.”
FG approves over N35.4bn, to resume talks on Thursday (Just In)(1/7/2019)
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The @ASUUNGR President has said after the meeting with Labour minister that
the National Executive Committee of the union will review its decisions based on the new commitment by the federal government.
— Official_ASUU (@ASUUNGR) January 7, 2019
Barring any last minutes change, academic activities may resume in public universities next week, as Federal Government has approved over N35.4 billion for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
In a resolution reached Monday night between the Federal Government and the leadership of ASUU at the Conference Hall, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja, the government announced that Federal Ministry of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation have confirmed payment of N15.389.940,335.71 billion to accommodate payment of shortfall in all institutions that are Presidential Initiative of Continuous Audit, PICA varied.
The Minister of Labour and Employment who disclosed this at the end of the meeting said the money was remitted on the 31st December, 2018. Ngige also said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of N20 billion for payment of outstanding arrears of the 2009 and 2012 Earned Academic Allowances to the already verified university system.
“The money is being worked on and will be released to ASUU when the process is completed,” he said. He reiterated government’s resolve to grant permanent licence to ASUU to operate the National University Pension Fund Administrator Company (NUPENCO) that will manage the contributory pension of public universities.
To this end, the Minister explained that Federal Ministry of Education has been directed to liaise with National Pension Commission for the release of the permanent licence. Ngige also assured on the resolve of the Buhari administration to offer undisclosed amount from the N220 billion annual revitalisation fund for universities which was agreed during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration but was reneged on.
Latest On ASUU Strike
MEETING UPDATE: The meeting between @ASUUNGR and the Minister of Labour is scheduled to hold on Monday Jan. 7th, at the Minister’s Conference Room by 3:30 pm prompt.
— Official_ASUU (@ASUUNGR) January 6, 2019
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FG to continue negotiation with ASUU on Monday (3 Hours Ago) (1/5/2019)
The Federal Government says it will continue negotiation process with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday to resolve ongoing industrial action embarked by the striking lecturers.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said this in a statement signed on Saturday in Abuja by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Director of Press, in the ministry.
According to the statement, the meeting is in furtherance to efforts at resolving the on-going industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. Chris Ngige is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Executive of ASUU. “The conciliatory meeting is scheduled to hold on Jan. 7, at Minister’s Conference Room by 30:30 pm prompt.
Reports have that ASUU commenced an indefinite strike on Nov. 5, 2018 over certain demands based on agreement reached with government in 2009.
One of the demands is the replacement of Dr Wale Babalakin as the chairman for the government renegotiating team of the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government Agreement.
Other issues are non-payment of earned allowance, funding of revitalisation of the Nigerian universities, implementation of needs assessment report, poor funding of state universities, among others.
Recall that as part of efforts by the Federal Government to end the strike, it commenced meetings with ASUU leadership on Nov. 15, 2018 followed by the last one on Dec. 17, 2018 before Christmas break.
Students appeal to ASUU, FG to resolve dispute (1/5/2019)
Some undergraduate students in Nsukka, yesterday appealed to the Federal Government (FG) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shift grounds and resolve their issues.
The students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they were tired of staying at home following the nationwide ASUU strike.
ASUU had embarked on the strike on Nov. 4, 2018 over FG’s alleged inability to fulfil the agreements signed with the union in 2009.
Charles Odoko from the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said, “I am also pleading with the FG and the lecturers to resolve their issues; I am tired of staying at home I want to go back to school this January. The FG should urgently meet the demands of ASUU as the constant strikes by lecturers are affecting the quality of tertiary education in the country.”
Jane Ukaegbu, of the Department of Political Science at the University of Lagos, said government and ASUU should consider the future of students and place that above other interests by resolving the dispute.
“I am urging the FG and the ASUU to reach a compromise so that students can return to school,’’ Ukaegbu said.
Kenneth Amadi from the Department of Psychology, University of Port Harcourt, said the frequent strikes by public universities’ employees were altering the academic calendar and distorting students’ set time of graduation.
“Government should consider poor parents who do not have lots of money to send their children and wards to private and foreign universities where the academic calendar is not tampered with,’’ Amadi appealed.
ASUU agrees to participate in 2019 general elections (3 Hours Ago) 1/4/2019
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, January 4, announced that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has agreed to participate in the forthcoming general election.
The commission made the announcement was made via it’s verified Twitter handle, @inecnigeria. The agreement was reached at a meeting between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and officials of the union in Abuja.
The purpose of the meeting, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, revealed, “is to discuss the ongoing strike by the Union but only in relation to our preparations for the General Elections.
Yakubu, had on Thursday, January 3, raised concern that the bulk of critical election duty staff are drawn from the universities. He said: “We are concerned that the bulk of critical election duty staff are drawn from the universities.
“We are determined to ensure that the (electoral) processes are not affected by the Union’s industrial action. “ASUU is a critical partner to the Commission in delivering credible elections.
We look forward to the meeting and we are confident of a positive outcome,” This is coming e development comes after the University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of ASUU told INEC not to depend on students and lecturers for the general election.
We have previously reported that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to depend on students and lecturers for the upcoming general elections.
Deji Omole, chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan (UI), made this known in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, on Thursday, January 3.
Omole who was responding to INEC’s worry that the strike will affect the elections if it continues till February, said even if ASUU was not on strike, its members participation in the election would have been voluntary and subject to each individual.
NANS to commence mass action against FG, ASUU, ASUP Jan 7 (1/4/2019)
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has issued a notice to all its structures and organs to commence mobilisation for mass action against the Federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.
This was contained in a statement signed by the association’s President, Danielson Akpan. The ASUU commenced a nationwide strike on November 4 after lecturers accused the federal government of not implementing previous agreements.
The association had earlier issued an ultimatum of two weeks to FG, ASUU, and ASUP on December 23, to call off the strike or face confrontation. According to the correspondence, the association blamed the parties involved of not making appreciable steps in resolving the crises.
Akpan accused the university lecturers of not showing enough commitment to end the strike, saying they staged a walk-out during negotiations with the government despite the latter meeting two out of their three demands.
The three major issues, the NANS leader said, include the non-payment of some academic staff salaries shortfall, non-release of operational license for Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company, NUPEMCO, and non-payment of earned academic allowances.
“The minor disagreement over figures in salaries shortfall which the government claimed to be N15 billion as against ASUU’s N25 billion “None of the issues mentioned above directly improves the lot of Nigerian students or infrastructure and basic amenities on our campuses.
Again, why are Nigerian Students made to suffer for the interests of ASUU or ASUP which doesn’t improve lots of Nigerian students?” Akpan asked.
ASUU talks tough ahead of Friday meeting with INEC (1/2/2019)- 5 Hours Ago
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ahead of its Friday’s meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission, has said that its ongoing seven-week strike is in the national interest.
The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated this in an interview in response to the call on the union to call off the strike, said nobody had the monopoly of national interest.
He added that the strike would not be called off until the Federal Government acceded to the lecturers’ demands.
There have been calls on ASUU to end the strike in the interest of the nation and to enable university students and the National Youth Service Corps members to work as ad hoc electoral officers during the February and March general elections.
As a result of the strike, many public universities have not rounded off the 2018/2019 session, thus their final year students have not gone for the NYSC.
The calls for the suspension of the strike became heightened last week when INEC raised the alarm that the face-off between the Federal Government and ASUU constituted a serious threat to the 2019 general elections.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, had pleaded with ASUU to suspend the strike in national interest and for the sake of democracy.
He had in an interview said the commission had convened a consultative meeting involving its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, national commissioners and ASUU leadership on January 4 (Friday) concerning the ongoing strike.
According to him, the meeting would focus principally on the issue of the role and involvement of ASUU members in the 2019 general elections.
Okoye said, “The national interest, the interest of our democracy and the reputation of Nigeria demand the immediate resolution of the issues that led to the strike and we so urge. It is next to impossibility for members of the NYSC to provide all the ad hoc staff needs and requirements of the commission and over 70 per cent of the ad hoc staff requirement in some states of the federation is drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions.
“Hence, the lingering strike by ASUU will no doubt have serious impacts on the preparations for the conduct of the 2019 elections. We therefore call on ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria to quickly and genuinely resolve the lingering impasse that has led to uncertainty in the education sector.”
But while confirming the invitation of INEC to the meeting, Ogunyemi said ASUU did not declare the strike with INEC, adding, “It is what they (INEC) will tell us that will inform our response.”
He said, “Well, INEC has requested for a meeting. The INEC chairman has contacted us and we are willing to oblige them. So our own procedure is that since they have requested for a meeting, we will listen to them. It is what they will tell us that will inform our response. First of all, we didn’t declare the strike with INEC.”
On the call that ASUU should end the strike in the national interest, Ogunyemi asked, “Did you know that our strike is also in the national interest because we want to produce better graduates that can serve INEC better and serve Nigeria better? We want them to have better citizens that can understand the electoral process better. We want to give quality education that would curb all electoral malpractices.”
The ASUU president explained that all the goals he mentioned could only be achieved through the provision of qualitative education, which he said, informed the union’s strike.
He stated, “So, it is only by insisting on the best quality of education that we can achieve all those things. Nobody has the monopoly of national interest. ASUU has national interest at heart in going on this strike. It is not about national interest sentiment. It is about what we are willing to do about our demands.
“I’m sure the demand to call off the strike in the national interest cannot be the only grounds for the meeting and I don’t want to preempt the meeting. It is when we listen to INEC that we will know what to tell them. If I preempt that meeting, it will seem as if I am not a patriot.”
Ogunyemi, who described ASUU members as patriots, said, “We have national interest at heart in doing what we are doing and INEC also appreciates that. We appreciate INEC as much as INEC appreciates us. We will meet them and rub minds, whatever the two parties will need to do, we shall do.”
Mark, Ekweremadu Seek End to ASUU Strike (1/1/2019) – 18hours Ago
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, have joined other eminent Nigerians to call for an end to the lingering university lecturers’ strike.
Mark in a new year message yesterday urged the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to take necessary steps toward resolving the industrial action that has crippled public universities .
“Something has to be done to resolve this imbroglio that has lingered for so long. Whichever side it is viewed, this incessant strike is retrogressive and retarding development”.
He urged both parties to as a matter of necessity honour the agreements reached, otherwise, it becomes ridiculous entering into agreement if it would not be respected.
According to him, incessant labour strikes has continued to weaken our economy and put the future of the country in jeopardy and reiterated the need to reverse the trend in the interest of the younger generation.
Mark also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to brace up to the task of conducting free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in 2019 just as he cautioned politicians against the use of inflationary, rancorous and unprintable languages during the campaigns.
“We must be guided by the rules of the game. Politics is a game. It is a noble path to service to community. It is not an opportunity to fan the embers of war”, he stressed.
On his part, Ekweremadu emphasised the need to strengthen the security of lives and property as well as close the widening divisions in the country in the New Year.
The Deputy Senate President who made the call in his New Year message, said Nigeria could not be effectively secured under the current policing arrangement and urged all political leaders to work for the immediate realisation of state police in 2019.
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