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Strike Is Only Language Govt Understands, We’ll Soon Embark On Action – Asuu

Source: thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, August 31, (THEWILL) – The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike to press home its demands for the implementation of its 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.

The coordinator of the union in Lagos, Prof. Olusoji Sowande, who made this known at a press conference on Tuesday, pointed out that the government had shown that the only language it understands is industrial action.

He disclosed that several efforts to ensure that the government address the pending demands of the union, proved abortive, adding that the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, memorandum of understanding, MoU, on funding of state universities, breaches of the conditions of service and re-negotiation of the agreement, were still pending. ‎

Sowande stated that funding of state universities, earned academic allowance and renegotiation of the agreement were parts of the outstanding issues.

He recalled that the union had embarked on strike in 2012 and 2013 as part of the efforts to make the government implement the agreement, but the issues remained unresolved.

According to the academic, “The review of the agreement should have been undertaken in 2012 and 2015 but that did not happen.‎

“The implication is that our union has shown enough patriotism and understanding on these matters in the last four years.

“We are perplexed and disappointed that both the Federal and State Governments are not responding to our consistent appeals to bring about genuine transformation in the education sector.” ‎

Sowande explained that embarking on strike has never been a favourable choice as the Students and ASUU members have always suffered the pains more, lamenting that “It is unfortunate that the only language government appears to respect and listens to is that of industrial action like strike.”

He disclosed that the national officers of the union had met with the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on May 10 and tabled ten-point demand, adding that the minister had promised that the issues would be resolved within two weeks but nothing had been done till now.

The ASUU coordinator stated that based on MoU signed in November 2013, “Nigerian universities requires N1.3 trillion to revitalise the system'' and that the government was already in arrears of N605 billion as at the third quarter of 2016.

He said that the government had refused to release N128 billion and N250 billion respectively for the earned academic allowance of three years after the MoU was signed.‎

According to him, “In order to forestall this avoidable crisis, we appeal to all genuinely progressive individuals and groups to prevail on both the Federal and State Governments to commence release of funds for the listed purposes.

“This is to arrest the brewing and potentially combustible situation in the Nigerian university system before it degenerated into a serious conflagration.

“The review of the agreement should have been undertaken in 2012 and 2015 but that did not happen.

“The implication is that our union has shown enough patriotism and understanding on these matters in the last four years.

“We are perplexed and disappointed that both the federal and state governments are not responding to our consistent appeals to bring about genuine transformation in the education sector.

“It is unfortunate that the only language government appears to respect and listen to is that of industrial action.”


IF YOU WANT TO STAND OUT, DON'T BE DIFFERENT; BE OUTSTANDING.
By: ADWOA TORONTO-CANDA