Asuu Threaten Nationwide Strike, Issue Two Weeks Ultimatum To FG

Asuu President
Asuu President

The union noted that the ‘illegal dissolution of the governing councils’ has paved the way for illegalities in the Nigerian university system.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has on Tuesday 14th May 2024 threatened to embark on nationwide strike action if the government of president Bola Tinubu do not meet up with their current demands.

The union issued two weeks ultimatum for president Tinubu’s government to reinstate the dissolved governing councils of Nigerian universities.

Recall that president Tinubu had in June 2023 dissolved the governing councils and since then, the universities have been operating without governing councils. The dissolution affected all public institutions, including polytechnics and colleges of education.

The Asuu national president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, while speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, said the union rejected all the “ongoing illegalities and flagrant violation of university autonomy in public universities as a result of non-reinstatement/reconstitution of Governing Councils.”

The union noted that the ‘illegal dissolution of the governing councils’ has paved the way for illegalities in the Nigerian university system. Asuu therefore is demanding that Mr Tinubu reinstates those whose tenure are yet to elapse and reconstitute those whose tenure had elapsed.

Osodeke also said that the meeting received alarming reports on the failed promises of the Federal and State governments towards addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on the nationwide strike action of February-October 2022.

His full speech read: ”As our union has consistently stated, salary awards are no substitutes for a negotiated Agreement. Each negotiated Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) and ASUU is a comprehensive package that captures not the just salary component but also a gamut of requirements for benchmarking a competitive university system designed for addressing the developmental challenges of Nigeria.

“ASUU’s demand for negotiated salary and other conditions of service is anchored on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention No. 98 which underscores the principle of collective bargaining.

“The last FGN/ASUU Agreement was in 2009. Consequent upon the union’s advocacy spanning almost one decade, our union went into the renegotiation with the FGN as in 2017.”

On the issue of governing councils, he said,”the NEC observed with dismay the continued erosion of autonomy of public universities, contrary to the provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act (1993, 2012).”

He added:” The illegal dissolution of Governing Councils by the Tinubu Government and many state governments has paved way for all manner of illegalities in the Nigerian university system.

“University administrations now place advertisements for the appointment of Vice-Chancellor without authorization from the appropriate quarters – the Governing Councils.

“Outgoing vice-chancellors, working in cahoots with the federal and state ministries of education, are illegally running the universities on daily basis.

“They routinely usurp the powers of Governing Councils to recruit and discipline staff as well as manage university finances in manners bereft of transparency and accountability, ” he added.

The union further lamented the unending grip of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, saying that the platform is a fraudulent one that inflicted unprecedented hardship on Nigerian academics and corruptly distorted university operations with respect to payroll management.

“ASUU also lamented the socio-economic crises in which our nation, Nigeria, is currently engulfed are multifarious and multidimensional, no thanks to the massive injection of neo-liberal policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“The NEC therefore, condemned in strong terms the seeming refusal of federal and state governments to decisively address all outstanding issues with the union.

“NEC shall reconvene after two weeks from the date of the NEC meeting to

review the situation and take a decisive action to address the issues,” he added.

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