The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced a four weeks extension of the ongoing strike action embarked on by its members since February 2022.
ASUU had been on strike over issues of poor welfare conditions, failure to renegotiate earlier agreements signed and the alleged imposition of IPPIS by the government.
In a statement on Monday, its National President, Mr Emmanuel Osodeko, said the decision for extension was reached following extensive deliberations and taking into cognisance of the government’s past failures to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA).
Osodeko said the move was to give the government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues, adding that the roll-over strike was with effect from 12.01a.m. on Monday, 1st August, 2022.
“The NEC meeting took place against the backdrop of government’s obligations as spelt out in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with ASUU on 23rd December 2020. Specifically, NEC recalled that government’s failure to conclude the process of renegotiating the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deploy the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), pay outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), release agreed sum of money for the revitalization of public universities (Federal and States), address proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, settle promotion arrears, release withheld salaries of academics, and pay outstanding third-party deductions led to the initial declaration of the roll-over strike on 14th February, 2022.
He said that NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari to all Federal Universities that the Minister of Education, in consultation with other government officials, should resolve the lingering crisis and report to him within two weeks.
He said the union wondered why it had taken five full months and needless muscle-flexing for the government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement.
“NEC viewed with seriousness the recent directive given by the President and Visitor to all Federal Universities that the Minister of Education, in consultation with other government officials, should resolve the lingering crisis and report to him within two weeks. The Union wonders why it had taken five full months and needless muscle-flexing for the government to come to the realisation of the need for honest engagement.
“NEC acknowledged the growing understanding of the issues and the groundswell of support for the Union’s principled demand for a globally competitive university education in Nigeria. Nigerian universities must not be reduced to constituency projects that merely exist on paper and our scholars must be incentivised to stay back and do what they know best, here in Nigeria.