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ASUU SEEKS TRADITIONAL RULERS' INTERVENTION IN NEGOTIATION WITH FG

By NBF News
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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday revealed in Lagos that industrial actions embarked upon by the union has always been the last option employed to get the Federal Government to implement its demands.

Following the failure of the government to implement the agreement reached with ASUU in 2006, the union has placed Nigerians on red alert, begging emirs, obas, lawmakers and stakeholders to appeal to the Goodluck Jonathan administration to honour the agreement to avert any impending action.

ASUU zonal coordinator, Ibadan zone, Professor Akin Ajisegiri, said, while briefing newsmen at University of Lagos on what he called government's unwillingness to implement the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement: 'You will recall that the press and the general public believed that ASUU likes strikes, that strikes have become unpopular, out of fashion, counterproductive, incessant, and destructive to the system, among many other descriptions given to it. Well ASUU, as a union, is not a strike monger.'

Ajisegiri said that ASUU embarked on a warning strike between May 18 and May 30 and June 22, 2009, in its bid to get the agreement signed and implemented, adding: 'Well, the struggle to sign the document ended in September 2009, but the struggle for implementation still rages as we speak.'

According to him, the terms of the agreement include funding of universities, basic salary, university autonomy and academic freedom and other related matters.

He disclosed that it was agreed that N1, 518, 331, 545,304 trillion would be required by the federal universities to reverse the rot in the system between 2009 and 2011, revealing that government disbursed N472 billion in 2009, N497 billion in 2010 and N549 billion in 2011.

On salary, he said that before the negotiation a professor earned N3, 859, 078 million and at the end of the negotiation, it jumped to N6 million per year, for the highest paid professor on campus, while noting that a local government supervisory councillor earns N12, 746, 875 million per year, which is twice what a professor takes home.

Ajisegiri noted that despite the agreement due for renegotiation, government is yet to implement supervisory, external examination, responsibility and other allowances and explained why the union rejected the passed law on 70- year retirement age for university professors.