The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday began a one-month warning strike, thus freezing learning activities in Nigeria’s public institutions.
President of the Union, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, announced this yesterday at a news conference after a two-day meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC).
While pleading with Nigerians for understanding, told journalists at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, that the strike became imminent to preserve the sanctity of the Nigerian university system.
He listed the reasons for the strike to include:
- The government’s failure to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed between the union and the government;
- The government’s poor commitment to the payment of academic earned allowance (EAA);
- The continued use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), and refusal to adopt the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), and proliferation of the universities in the country;
- Interference of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on the universities’ statutory roles admission of candidates; and,
- The recent illegal appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim, as a professor at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Osodeke said the industrial action, which begins immediately, is “comprehensive and total,” adding that “We don’t like to see our students at home. We don’t want our academic calendars disrupted but our demands are not met.”
Efforts to avert action
The government had also ignored a three-week ultimatum issued in November over the poor handling of the deal.
We don’t like to see our students at home. We don’t want our academic calendars disrupted but our demands are not met.
Before now, ASUU had embarked on a sensitisation campaign across campuses in Nigeria, leading to lecture-free periods.
It also said the 2009 agreement reached with the Federal Government ought to be reviewed every three years. But the union said since the deal was renegotiated, the Government has failed to sign and implement the content.
Recall that in 2020, ASUU had embarked on a nine-month strike over the government’s failure to honour its part of the deal, which was later called off after a series of meetings with the Federal Government.
Following the suspension, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, had vowed not to allow the lecturers to go on strike again, but failed to keep to his promise as well.