Chris Steven, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed all its members in public and private universities in the country to commence an indefinite strike.
Biodun Ogunyemi, President of ASUU who declared the strike in Abuja on Monday at a press conference said the Federal Government has failed to meet up with five issues that have formed the basis of negotiation between them.
He said there shall be no teaching, examination and attendance of statutory meetings of any kind during the strike in any of the union’s branches.
Ogunyemi said ASUU is out to make the Federal and State governments implement the provision of the 2009 Agreement, the MoU of 2013 and the understanding reached in November 2016.
“To have public universities that will be pride of all, to secure the future of our children and their own children’s future, and to lay the foundation for a university system capable of producing a country of our dream, we must make the Federal and State governments implement the provision of the 2009 Agreement, the MoU of 2013 and the understanding reached in November 2016” he said.
Accordingly, he listed five issues in the current dispute noting that substantial aspects of the 2009 Agreement and 2013 MoU have remained unimplemented.
He said “We have brought up these areas in a number of interactions with the media and, more recently, in our two-page advertisement in some Nigerian dailies on June 9, 2017.”
“For the purpose of emphasis, however, permit me to highlight the major ones. Funding for the revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, registration of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO) and pension matters, universities staff schools and Fractionalisation and non-payment of salaries.”
He lamented that efforts to address these issues fizzled out when the union suspended its warning strike it commenced on November 16, 2017 when the strike was suspended on November 22, 2017.
ASUU, he explained, did its best afterward to get the Federal Government to fulfil its promises through series of letters and consultation meetings saying “all was to no avail”
“Meanwhile, our members across the country were getting increasingly frustrated, distracted and disenchanted. It became evident that their patience had been tasked beyond reasonable limits and government’s insensitivity imposed severe burden on the leadership of the union” he said
“Consequently, based on a nationwide consultation with our members, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU rose on Saturday, August 12, 2017 with a resolution to embark on an indefinite strike action starting from Sunday, August 13, 2017.
“The nationwide action is total and comprehensive”