Union Accuses FG of Breaching Agreement
Three months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off its three months old strike, the body on Thursday threatened to disrupt academic activities by embarking on another industrial action. In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, accused the Federal Government of not keeping to her own side of the bargain concerning the 2019 Memorandum of Action.
Prof. Ogunyemi stated that the N25 billion which the Federal Government, through the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said it had approved for the union was meant to be a part-payment of the Earned Academic Allowances and should have been released in February. Accusing the current leadership of the government team of lacking in the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake ”the task of negotiation with the body for a better learning environment, he advised the Federal Government to honour to its promise.
Prof. Ogunyemi | ASUU strike: Lecturers speak on agreement with Buhari govt | Daily Post Nigeria
“Since information on the amounts mentioned in the media went round, ASUU has been inundated with enquiries on the union’s perspective to the story. Funding for the revitalisation of public universities has for years been of very high priority to ASUU. Reaching an agreement with the Federal Government has often been a frustrating journey for our union. It is often marked with protests, strikes and requires a conscious and focused engagement. The 2001 agreement, which gave birth to the 2009 agreement, was not an exemption. The exception here is the personality leading the government negotiation team.
“The current leadership of the government team clearly lacks the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake such task. Our members enjoy their work and hate to see any disruption in the smooth running of our universities. However, the level of frustration occasioned by the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards meeting the terms of the 2019 Memorandum of Action that was freely signed with our union is increasingly becoming unbearable. We, therefore, call on all Nigerian patriots, parents and students including the Nigeria Labour Congress to prevail on the government to keep to the terms of our agreement otherwise, our union should not be held responsible for any disruption in the system’’, he stated.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige | Daily Post Nigeria
ASUU on Thursday, February 8, 2019, called off the three-month-old strike it embarked upon over revitalisation of universities, academic earned allowances, issuance of Universities Pension Management Company and other issues. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said after the meeting that eight areas of disagreement were discussed and agreed on by the two parties while expressing gratitude to ASUU leadership for their understanding.
He said: “We have dealt with all the eight contending issues and some of them have been implemented. ASUU has a licence for the Universities Pension Management Company since January 28, 2019. On the issue of salary shortfall in the universities, the Federal Government has released N16bn, out of which N15.384bn is for universities, while the rest is for other tertiary institutions. The Vice Chancellors have acknowledged the receipt of the funds.
The government’s refusal to meet the union’s demands since 1999 has however been the basic reason ASUU goes on strike almost every year. It’s 2019 and once again, the cycle is repeating itself.
(Excerpts from Daily Times)