UNENDING strike actions, by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, in Nigeria, appears not to be troubling President Buhari’s government, even though, at the receiving end, are parents and their children. ASUU, on November 15, gave government three weeks ultimatum over failure to meet its demands. The ultimatum ended, Sunday, December 5.
At ASUU’s National Executive Council meeting, held at the University of Abuja, November 13 and 14, Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU’s President, stated that despite the union’s meeting Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, on October 14, on agreement reached between the government and ASUU, government has continued to default.
Government, according to ASUU, has continued to renege on funding for revitalizing public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution, promotion arrears, renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system payment; and these demands have not been met by government.
ASUU said government has become “unfaithful” in implementing the Memorandum of Action, it signed with the union, the basis of which it suspended the almost one-year strike action in December 2020. The university teachers may be set for another industrial action; based on non-payment of N30 billion revitalization fund to universities; N22.1 billion earned allowances to universities workers, among others.
THE LINGERING CRISIS between ASUU and government, analysts, say, does not show utmost good faith, on the part of government, by consistently, not keeping to agreement reached with the university teachers. This time, Nigerians should hold government responsible if ASUU proceeds on another strike.
Overcoming crisis, they say, provide leaders opportunities to do things and solve problems in new ways. Ways that, manifestly, provides clear direction in dealing lingering situation. And employing techniques suitable in navigating potentially challenging situation.
Government, according to report, has begun moves to prevent further ASUU’s strike. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education has been reported to be on the trail of the Minister of Finance on the issue of the payment of allowances to the university teachers.
ASUU is reported to be engaged meetings and consultations with its branches and zones in the country on the way forward, after the expiration of the three-week ultimatum, on Sunday, December 05. It is an uneasy calm; while actions are being awaited by government and ASUU.
ASUU IN MARCH 2020, embarked on strike action, due to disagreement with the government, on funding universities, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, implementation of the University Transparency Accountability Solution, funding and revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, promotion arrears and renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
After several meetings and negotiations between government and ASUU, government approved the demands by the union. Government and ASUU signed Memorandum Of Action for the implementation of the agreement reached. And government promised to act promptly.
December 24, 2020, the almost [nine months on strike], that commenced in March 2020, was suspended by ASUU; after government gave repeated assurance that it would implement the agreement reached with ASUU.
Parents and their children, were the proverbial “grass that suffers”, when the “two elephants” – federal government and ASUU fought. Are Nigerian families heading for another unending ASUU strike? Government, analysts say, must act, decisively, this time.