Final decision on strike to be reached soon -ASUU
Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will finalise decision on an impending strike at the end of an ongoing meeting at the University of Lagos.
A chairman of one of the branches, who preferred anonymity because he’s not in a position to speak, said the least consideration so far is a warning strike.
He explained that “ASUU is being considerate but the actions of the Federal Government are not helpful”.
“The least consideration, for now, is a warning strike. Some of our branch representatives feel we should commence strike outrightly but others advised that apart from the lecture free-day declared, we should embark on another warning strike before the full, indefinite strike.”
Asked what will be the next step after the warning strike, he replied, “The NEC will determine. But it is either we hold another branch congresses or we embark on the full strike if the government is not forthcoming. The resolution of the ongoing meeting will determine.”
The PUNCH had reported that members of the National Executive Committee of ASUU are meeting at UNILAG to finalise the union’s decision on an impending strike.
ASUU is expected to make the final decision on the strike by voting, but The PUNCHgathered that no voting has been held yet.
When contacted on the telephone, the Chairperson of UNILAG ASUU, Dele Ashiru, said, “NEC meeting still ongoing.”
The union had expressed grievances over the failure of the Federal Government to fulfill some of the agreements it made as far back as 2009. ASUU had on November 15, 2021 given the federal government a three-week ultimatum over the failure to meet the demands.
The lecturers threatened to embark on another round of industrial action following the alleged “government’s unfaithfulness” in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union, leading to the suspension of the 2020 strike action.
After the union’s National Executive Council meeting at the University of Abuja on November 13 and 14, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, lamented that despite meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on October 14, 2021, on issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment, none of its demands had been met.
Following the threat, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, promised that the union would be paid.
A few weeks after, ASUU suspended the planned strike, as N22.1 billion earned allowances was paid to lecturers in federal universities.
On the heels of the union’s renewed agitations, the co-chairmen of the National Inter-religious Council, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar III, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, visited the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last month, over the lack of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding the government signed with ASUU in 2009 and others.