ASUU to embark on one week warning strike

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria, ASUU, says it will embark on a one week total and comprehensive warning strike on Wednesday.

In a circular signed by its President, Comrade Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU said the warning strike was for the Federal Government to meet the agreement it signed with lecturers in November 2013.

Comrade Ogunyemi, said after series of meetings with the Minister of Education and the National Assembly on the need to respect the 2009 Agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding, the Union has no tangible results on key issues contained in the Agreement.

“The nationwide strike is total and comprehensive, while it lasts, there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance at statutory meetings of any kind in any of our branches.”

The Union lamented chronic underfunding of the education sector saying the low budgetary allocation to education sector from 11% in 2015 to 8% in 2016 under the present Administration calls for worry.

“We tried to correct the impression that the capital and research grants to universities were being handled by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund on the grounds that grants from intervention agency cannot replace statutory funding of education at a time we believe allocation to education should be 26% as recommended,” Comrade Ogunyemi.

“A renegotiation of the agreement by the parties would have afforded both the government of Nigeria and ASUU to bring up unresolved issues in the areas of conditions of service, funding, university autonomy and academic freedom,” he added.

“Our members have said they are tired of government’s empty promises on setting up its negotiating team for the review of agreement ,as consistently requested by ASUU since 2012” Ogunyemi explained.

Comrade Ogunyemi emphasized that the government is in arrears of the sum of 660billion naira, as at last quarter of 2016 and in respect of needs assessment fund for revitalisation of public universities.

“The 2013 FGN-ASUU MOU stipulates that to radically address the rot and decay in Nigeria’s public universities, the federal government would inject N200 billion in 2013 and N220B subsequently for 2014 and 2018” the ASUU President stated.

Staff entitlements, issues of funding universities for revitalisation, and Nigeria Universities Pension Management Company, university autonomy, budgetary allocation to education and renegotiation of the 2009 agreement are key issues of dispute in the 2013 MoU and the 2009 Agreements with the government.

ASUU claims these issues are unimplemented and disparagingly handled.