Nigerian university lecturers roll over strike for another month

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday extended ongoing more than five-month-old strike by another four weeks, citing the failure of the Nigerian government to fulfill its promises and heed the union’s call.

Penpushing reports that National President of the union, Emmanuel Osodeke, made the announcement in a statement, explaining that the decision was taken during an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council on Sunday.

The statement which said the meeting took place at the union’s headquarters located on the campus of the University of Abuja however, thanked the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), affiliate unions and civil society organisations for trooping out to stage a nationwide protest between 26th and 27th of July.

Penpushing further reports that, the body of lecturers said the emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) became necessary since it publicly announced a 12-week extension of the strike in May.

The union pointed out that Nigerian government has not shown commitment towards resolving the lingering crisis, emphasizing that the additional four weeks will be observed to monitor the government’s seriousness and commitment to address its concerns.

“Following extensive deliberations and taking cognisance of Government’s past failures to abide by its own timelines in addressing issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MOA), NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for four weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues. The role-over strike action is with effect from 12.01a.m. on Monday, 1st August, 2022.”

Penpushing also reports that, the statement added that the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting was held against the backdrop of government’s obligations as spelt out in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the body 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 revitalisation 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.

“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.”

“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. Non-signing of the draft renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement more than one month after it was concluded by Professor Nimi Briggs-led Committee is further tasking the patience of ASUU members nationwide.”

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