Education Minister Meets With Protesting Students, After Initially Walking Out on Them

ASUU Strike Latest Update: Education Minister Meets With Protesting Students, After Initially Walking Out on Them

ASUU Finally Reaches Agreement With Federal Government

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu who had initially walked out on a meeting with students on Monday morning over what he reportedly described as rude conduct of the student leaders, later he met the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

He assured the protesters that the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will soon return to the classrooms.

In a terse statement issued late Monday night by the director of press at the ministry, Ben Goong, the minister said the ongoing negotiation process has been fruitful “and is expected to lead to a quick return of the striking lecturers back to classes.”

The statement, which was shared with PREMIUM TIMES late Monday night, reads; “Education Minister Adamu Adamu met with NANS officials in Abuja in an effort to ease tension over the ongoing ASUU strike. The process is expected to lead to the resumption of academic activities on our campuses.”

However, the director did not give the details of the meeting with the student leaders.

The footage of the minister’s walk-out on the students by Channels Television, had earlier surfaced on the internet, as many Nigerians berated Mr Adamu for his “poor conduct.”

The minister was said to have expressed dissatisfaction with the way and manner he was spoken to by the NANS president, Sunday Asefon, who had reportedly accused the minister of feeling unconcerned about the plight of Nigerian students.

Mr Asefon, while addressing the minister on Monday, had said: “The key issue ASUU has continued to hammer on is the revitalisation of our institutions, which is important for every student to key into. But you cannot be discussing the revitalisation of our institution without Nigerian students being in that negotiation committee.

“Nigerian students want to be part of this committee. We want to really know what is going on between ASUU and the federal government…We are tired of the incessant strike in our education sector.

“Honourable Minister, we saw it on social media, you celebrated your son who graduated from a university outside this country. Our parents do not have that money to send us outside the country. But let us enjoy what we are paying for. We want adequate funding for education in this country.

“If our schools are not open, this will not be the last protest. This is not a threat – when we said we would be coming out, here we are. Today, Niger road is blocked, Benue is blocked, Adamawa is blocked. If care is not taken, this will be worse than EndSARS.”

Apparently angered by the issues raised, the minister reportedly told the protesting students that the only thing worthy of note in the issues raised was the inclusion of students in the negotiation process.

“Instead of coming here, you should have met your lecturers there. Perhaps the only point that you make that is worthy of attention is; you said students should be involved in this and I think, probably, this is a very good thing. And it is the only thing I am going to take out of all you have said here,” the minister reportedly said before stepping out of his conference room where he met with them.”

With the minister at the meeting were the executive secretary of NUC, Abdulrasheed Abubakar, and the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Is-haq Oloyede, among other officials of the agencies under the education ministry.

However, later in the night, accompanied by the heads of some of the agencies under the education ministry including Messrs Abubakar and Oloyede, the minister returned to meet the angry students to seek their understanding.

According to the NANS president, the decision to agree to meet the minister was to resolve the lingering crisis so that the students could go back to school.

Mr Asefon, who spoke to our reporter on the phone on Tuesday morning, said; “The only thing we said was that we would not go back to that ministry of education. So they agreed to meet us at the NUC headquarters, where we again reiterated our demands.

“The minister showed us documents indicating efforts to address all the issues, and we insisted that if the strike is not called off before the one-month deadline, the #EndSars protest would be a child’s play.”

He said the minister pleaded for understanding and that the conciliation meeting would continue today towards ending the strike.

“He said the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement was not sustainable but that a new workable agreement is being finalised for signature by both parties,” he added.

Credit: PreimumTimes

Earlier: FG and ASUU Meeting Ends, Strike Continues

The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has just ended. 

The meeting which commenced around 1:00pm at the Minister’s Conference room has finally come to an end.

At the meeting the Academic Staff Union of Universities insisted to continue its strike unless the Federal Government meets all existing demands.

But the Federal Government on its part believes that the ongoing strike would be called off soon, saying it was taken aback by the renewed strike which university teachers embarked on February 14, 2022.

Addressing the resumed conciliation meeting with the union on Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said government was surprised ASUU negated the understanding and assurances it gave through the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council(NIREC) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria , Rev. Supo Ayokunle.

According to the Minister who was in Botswana for the meeting of the African Regional Labour Administrative Centre(ARLAC) when ASUU declared action, said he thought the university teachers and their employer, the Ministry of Education would have resolved the areas of disputes within days.

“I sincerely thought ASUU and the Ministry of Education would have resolved the issues, which hopefully are not major areas of dispute, warranting industrial action. To my surprise , I came back , and the strike is still on. Be that as it may, it is the mandate of my Ministry to apprehend industrial disputes wherever they occur and we have apprehended this.

“ From this negotiation we are having today, ASUU will appreciate that government means no harm. This is because even if there are still lapses in implementation of agreement , they are not such that will lead to industrial action. To that extent , we have to do everything possible to resolve this.

But I must tell you that on the government side, they were taken by surprise in that before then, NIREC met with you(ASUU) and reported to the President. Having met with you (ASUU) and having given the details of their meeting with you, we sincerely hoped we won’t again take this route of industrial action. So, the government side is taken by surprise- Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and all are taken aback.”

Ngige, however, assured that the strike had been apprehended by his ministry and that the ongoing conciliation would prepare ground for an expanded meeting which will involve NIREC.

“It is my mandate to apprehend industrial disputes and this has been apprehended so we can discuss, and later expand to what is called tripartite plus meeting, involving members of NIREC who are top religious and traditional rulers, we cannot push aside. And that is as soon as we are done and agree on issues here.”

The minister expressed optimism that the strike would be called off soon to enable students go back to school.

“It should not be one month strike. In fact there is nothing like one month strike or warning strike in labour parlance. Strike is strike. We want this to end as soon as possible, as we sort out all grey areas in the agreement as the ILO Principles At Work allows for renegotiation of Collective Bargaining Agreement. So we go back to the draft agreement. We must avoid another situation where our children bear the brunt of two elephants fighting,” he added.


Earlier: FG Meets ASUU Today Over Strike Action

The Federal Government will on Tuesday meet the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to find an amicable solution to the contentious issues that made the university teachers down tools.

Recall that ASUU had declared a one-month warning strike starting from Monday, February 14 to press home their demands.

Both the federal government and ASUU have been trading blames since the later declared industrial action as each is accusing the other of insincerity.

However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who is the Conciliator-in-Chief of the Federal Government has scheduled to meet with the leadership of ASUU on Tuesday in his office.

This was disclosed by Mr Charles Akpan, Deputy Director/Head Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The letter read: “The Honorable Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige will be meeting with the Executive of Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU and relevant Government Agencies.

The meeting is scheduled as follows: 

Date: Tuesday, 22nd   February 2022. 

Time: 1 pm

Venue: Honorable Minister’s Conference room.”


Earlier: ASUU NEC Converges Today, to Meet FG

The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU) will meet on Monday night.

Sources in the union revealed that after the meeting, NEC members will meet Federal Government officials later in the week.

Recall that ASUU had last week Monday declared a nationwide four-week roll-over strike after a two-day meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka.

The union said it had no option but to embark on the strike, saying despite meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on October 14, 2021, on issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment, none of its demands had been met.

Investigations revealed that as of Sunday afternoon, some members of ASUU NEC had arrived Abuja in readiness for the meeting.

While confirming the meeting to our correspondent, the national chairman, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said if the government was responsive, there would be no need for the strike to last for weeks.

“It is just a meeting; they are inviting us for a meeting within the week. They will tell us why they called. I don’t know what they plan to tell us, we will meet them within the week,” he said.

He told Nigerians to “Appeal to the government to implement the agreement we signed with them. The strike can be called off any day, it is in the government’s hand if they want it to last for a week, two weeks, one month, a year, or more. It is the government that will decide when they want the strike to end. Our position is that they should agree and implement what they signed with us. If they are responsive, it doesn’t need to last for weeks. We have given them one month to react.”

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Also, the ASUU Chairman, Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Dr Jibrin Shagari, in an interview with The PUNCH, confirmed that the union’s NEC members will converge on Abuja on Monday night.

Shagari said, “Yes, I can confirm that our national officers will be in Abuja on Monday night where they will meet and later meet the Federal Government.”

 

ASUU rules out confidence in FG as meeting holds

Meanwhile, union members still do not believe that the government is ready to meet their demands.

The Chairman, ASUU, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Dr Gbenga Adeleye, insisted that the union would not call off the strike if their demands were not met.

“There is nothing about whether we are confident or not confident.

“It is for them to meet our demands, if they are not meeting our demands, we are not calling off the strike.”

Similarly, the Chairman of ASUU at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, in a statement on Sunday, said, so far, those in charge of the Ministry of Education had displayed gross incompetence and lack the interests of the masses.

Akinwole described the FG as a slave merchant, who only listened and implemented he destructive policy recommendations of the International Monetary fund and World Bank against the larger interest of Nigerians.

He said, “The Federal Government lacks integrity. It is sad. The government cannot be trusted any longer. We have been on the same salary for 13 years and it is even shameful to show anyone your payslip.

“When compared to the work we do, we have sacrificed for Nigeria to the detriment of our wellbeing and this is already dampening the morale of our people.

“Federal Government should sign the renegotiated agreement, implement it, roll out UTAS, pay unpaid earned academic allowances, commit more funds into the revitalisation of universities.

“Parents should impress it on the government to sign the new welfare package for our members. If we fail to fight for our rights, the slave merchants in government will continue to trade with our future and future of the children of the masses.”

Source: The Punch


Earlier: FG Makes Move to Meet Lecturers’ Demands

The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education has begun efforts towards meeting the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). This was disclosed by the ministry in a press statement by its Director of Press and Media Relations, Ben Goong, on Thursday.

The press statement from the education ministry titled, ‘Federal Government constitutes white paper drafting panels for tertiary institutions, explained that ten white paper drafting panels have been constituted.

The statement read in part, “Following the receipt of reports of Visitation Panels to Tertiary Institutions last year, Education Minister, Adamu Adamu has constituted White Paper Drafting Panels for Tertiary Institutions across the country.

“Ten White Paper Drafting Panels have been constituted for 36 Universities, while six Panels have been constituted for 25 Polytechnics with 21 Colleges of Education having 5 Panels.

“One Panel is to draft a White Paper for four Inter-university centres. the Panels will be inaugurated in the coming days.

“All the Panels have two weeks from the date of inauguration to submit their reports.”

The ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, could not be reached for his comments as of the time of filing this report.


Earlier: ASUU Embarks on One-Month Strike Action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has declared a “comprehensive and total” strike.

The strike was declared at a press conference addressed by the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, on Monday.

He said the strike, which takes effect from Monday, February 14, 2022, would last for an initial period of four weeks.

According to him, the union tried to avoid the strike but the Federal Government is unresponsive to the union’s demands.

The ASUU chairman also said ASUU NEC faulted the creation of new universities.

He said, “NEC resolved to embark on the four-week roll-over total and comprehensive strike as the government has failed to implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the ASUU in December 2020.

“We invite all lovers of education to join our struggle for a greater Nigeria. Nigerian politicians keep proliferating educational institutions without prioritising education.

“ASUU will not relent in its historic responsibility of advocating for an improved university system.

“This is because it holds the key to our collective prosperity and better future for our children and our children’s children; so, let us work together to fix it.”

Osodeke asked the Federal Government to call the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, to order over the unpaid Earned Academic Allowances of its members in the university.

“We have an agreed template with FG but the VC refused to pay. Failure to pay using that template is a misappropriation. He should be cautioned,” the ASUU president said.

Members of the union’s National Executive Council had held marathon meetings since Saturday at the University of Lagos titled, ‘NEC for NEC.’

ASUU had sensitised and mobilised lecturers and students across all universities on the reason the union might likely go on strike.


Earlier: ASUU Commences Two-Day Meeting, Takes Final Decision on Sunday

The National Executive Committee of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will on Saturday commence a two-day meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka, to finalise the union’s decision on an impending strike.

Members of the ASUU NEC will make the final decision on the strike – to be reached by voting – known at the end of the meeting on Sunday, PUNCH reports.

This comes amid allegations that the Federal Government refused to implement some of the agreements it had with the union as far back as 2009.

ASUU had on November 15, 2021, given the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum over the failure to meet the demands.

The intensity of ASUU’s threat of embarking on another strike was heightened during the week following the union’s directive to its branches to observe lecture-free moments to sensitise the public on its demands and why it could commence another round of industrial action.

The union consequently declared Monday, February 9, 2022, as a lecture-free day to mobilise its members ahead of what it described as the longest strike in history.

Several chapters of the union embraced the directive and had held several congresses where they told the public to hold the government responsible if the union decides to embark on strike.

A final decision on the looming strike will be reached this weekend as ASUU NEC meets from February 12 (today) and February 13 at UNILAG.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has promised to step into the dispute between the Federal Government and ASUU if the Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission failed to resolve the issue.

He said, “The Ministry of Education is their employer and we have handed over the necessary tools to them. The major issue with ASUU now is the deployment of UTAS which is under the purview of NITDA which is under the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy. The NUC also has its own role to play.

“My role is to play a reconciliatory officer. If their employers and the NUC fail to reconcile them, then I step in as the reconciliatory officer. It’s not more than that. But I know their employers are finding ways to resolve these issues.”

National President of Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria, Danjuma Haruna, appealed to President Buhari to quickly intervene to dissuade ASUU from embarking on a fresh nationwide strike.

Haruna made this appeal in a statement on Friday, following recent threats of a fresh strike by many branches of ASUU.

The statement read in part, “Embarking on a new nationwide strike would definitely affect the educational system in the country. So many students would be forced to go home thereby increasing social vices in the country. Solving ASUU’s problems would help to improve the standard of education in all the universities across the 36 states of Nigeria.”


Earlier: ASUU Vows to Commence Industrial Action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday expressed doubts over the ability of the Federal Government under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to resolve the lingering crisis in the education sector, particularly the universities.

The union said an indefinite strike will commence.

Punch reports that the union described as “shameful” the continued defence of IPPIS by the Federal Government despite reported fraud in it’s implementation as indicated in the 2021 report submitted to the National Assembly by the Auditor General of the Federation.

In a statement on Friday, ASUU lamented the numerous past negotiations and agreements with the Federal Government on how to revamp the education sector but which the government had shown no commitment to implement.

The statement signed by the Chairman of ASUU, University of Jos branch, Dr Lazarus Maigoro, read, “In the last one year, our Union has been engaged with the federal government and its officials over demands which, if met, would lift the standard of our battered tertiary institutions, especially the universities. The undisputed crisis in our educational sector has met, as with other consequences, nothing but the same response. Our union states very clearly that we appreciate the interest demonstrated by the Nigerian Inter-religion Council with a view to resolving the current impasse.

“However, it is not rational to continue to return to the same physician for the cure of an ailment iatrogenically introduced by him or one in which he has failed to cure or bring relief to his patient.

“From historical experience, we can conclude that NIRECs efforts with agents of government will be more prone to bringing further pain and anguish to the system. This will surely be the case if NIREC’s intervention ends with a palliative solution. This will lead to another phase of the same crisis. For the avoidance of doubt, our Union ASUU, has had several meetings with the Minister of Labour, Officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, the NUC, and NITDA and, very recently with the Chief of Staff to the President.

“All these meetings have not calmed our members as the following issues still remain unresolved.

The recent comments by the spokesman to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina that government will keep to the promises, rings very hollow to us. The government’s pattern of response to the issues is that of a serial promise-breaker. Like an unfaithful spouse, they are unable to match their words with action which is affecting the education sector negatively. We are tired of their deceit and IT IS TIME FOR US TO ACT. We want to inform Nigerians, that we are tired of fruitless meetings with the Minister of Labour, NUC Executive Secretary, Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, NITDA, and the Chief of Staff to the President. If they ever want us to listen to them, they should first of all act on the promises they have already made.

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“In the meantime, we are resolved to proceed on an indefinite and comprehensive strike until fidelity returns to our relationship with the government and our demands are met. We are tired of the back and forth.”


Earlier: Lecturers Postpones Decision on Strike, Accuses FG of Blackmail

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has postponed its decision on strike, saying that consultations are still ongoing.

This was contained in a press statement issued by the union after its National Executive Council meeting.

The meeting held at its Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, on Saturday, December 18, 2021 to review the level of government’s implementation of the FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Action of December 23, 2020 and other related matters.

In the press statement titled, ‘Enough of blackmail’, signed by ASUU president, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, the lecturers regretted that the Federal Government had turned its back on the plan to set up an inter-ministerial committee to review the draft Renegotiated 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement.

Earlier, ASUU had announced plans to embark on a strike over the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.

Apart from the Earned Academic Allowances, ASUU said its demands included the review of the NUC Act to curb the proliferation of universities by state governments who are not funding the existing ones; adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS) with concurrent discontinuance of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and distortion in salary payment.

Others are the release of accumulated promotion arrears; and the review and signing of the draft document on the Renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.

Part of the statement read, “NEC was worried by the spirited efforts of government agents to reduce the demands of ASUU to a regime of intermittent payment of watered-down revitalisation fund and release of distorted and grossly devalued Earned

“ASUU shall not relent in demanding improvement in the welfare and conditions of service of our members. However, we shall resist any attempt to blackmail the union and derail our patriotic struggle for a productive university system by official propaganda founded on tokenism and crumb-sharing.

“NEC concluded that government has failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and subsequent MoUs and MoAs.

“However, considering the ongoing intervention and consultation efforts, NEC resolved to review the situation at a later date with a view to deciding on the next line of action.”

Credit: Punch


Earlier: ASUU to Take Final Decision on Proposed Strike Tomorrow

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is meeting on Saturday to, among other things, take a final decision on its proposed nationwide strike. Read Also: Why ASUU wants to Embark on Strike Action.

Punch Newspaper reported that the union’s zonal coordinator in charge of the Sokoto zone, Jamilu Shehu disclosed in Katsina on Wednesday at a press conference. ASUU Sokoto zone comprises five institutions, including the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University (UMYU), Katsina, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, Sokoto State University, Sokoto, and Federal University Dutsinma.

The ASUU scribe warned the Federal Government not to drag the nation’s educational sector to dark days of strike actions, by urgently implementing the December 23, 2020, Memorandum of Action reached with the union.

He declared, “We are, hence, calling for all the concerned parties to urgently address these issues in line with the spirit and letters of the December 2020 MoA and the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives, and others, or risk industrial action.

“Also the union hereby calls on all patriotic Nigerians to prevail on the government to return to the path of honour by concluding the MoA it agreed to implement. “Both the federal and state governments should be impressed upon to accord the educational sector the attention it deserves because that is the only, and of course surest way, that we can truly develop as a nation.”

Shehu identified outstanding issues to be resolved to also include, lack of full implementation of funding for the revitalization of public universities, and payment and mainstreaming of Earned Academic Allowances. Others, according to him, are the implementation of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, and inconsistencies in Salary Payment with the Integrated Personnel Payroll System.

He added that ASUU and the Federal Government had concluded the renegotiation exercise, and had come up with a draft document, alleging that the government team was delaying making further recommendations on the draft.

“In view of the foregoing, therefore, ASUU would no longer rely on lies and pledges of the implementation of the 23rd December 2020 MoA by the government,” Shehu maintained.


Ealier: We Were Not Paid N52.12bn, ASUU Slams Minister of Labour

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied claims made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige’s about the union being given N52.12billion as part of their revitalization fund and earned allowances.

The Kano Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Comrade Abdulkadir Muhammad described the claim as deceptive, misleading, and aimed at soiling the image of the Union and its members in the eyes of the public.

He explained that only N22.17 billion was released as Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) out of which only N16.6bn was released to members of the union while the remaining N5.5bn was for other academic unions. 

ASUU refutes claims of receiving N52.12bn from the federal government Mohammed further added that out of the N30billion given for revitalization, only N20billion was given to the university managements to address infrastructural decay on campuses, out of which nothing was given to any member of ASUU. 

He called on the minister to desist from trivializing its campaign and stop making it look as if the union was all about money.


Ealier: FG Pays ASUU N52.5bn to Avert Strike Action

Consequent to threats made by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to embark on industrial action after the Federal government failed to implement the memorandum of action reached in December 2020, the government has released N52 billion to the union.

According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, he received confirmation from the Federal Ministry of Finance that the funds had been released to the 38 universities for the revitalization of infrastructure and payment of earned allowances.

He explained that out of the N52.5bn, N30 billion is Revitalisation Fund while N22.5 billion is Earned Academic Allowance.

The minister added that the government is looking forward to settling the remaining areas of the agreement like errors in the computation of salaries of some of the staff and the renegotiation of agreements.


Earlier: ASUU Await Reports from Various Branches to Determine Next Line of Action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that the union is waiting for reports from its branches before taking a final decision on the Federal Government’s failure to meet their demands.

This was disclosed by the union’s National President, Prof. Emmanuel Oshodeke, in an interview with newsmen.

Reports from our branches over unmet demands will determine the next move – ASUU
ASUU had on November 15 given the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum over government failure to meet its demands.

Oshodeke said the government had not reached out to the union after its three weeks ultimatum elapsed on Sunday.

He said, “We have finished the principal meeting and we have gone back to the branches. Our branches will tell us what to do next. We didn’t say we are giving 24 hours deadline, what we said was that we will reach out to our members within 24 hours.

“We have given them like from 10 days to two weeks to revert to us and we shall discuss other things we want to do. We have not also heard from the FG officially.”


Earlier: ASUU Strike Looms As Union Gives 24 Hours To Declare Action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on a strike action if the Federal Government fails to act urgently.

The development trails the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum it handed to the Federal Government to implement its demands.

The National President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said the Federal Government would hear from the union in the next 24 hours concerning its next line of action, Tribune reports.

According to him, consultations were already in place with the various branches for a final position to be made known to the public soon.

Osodeke disclosed that the meeting of the principal officers of the union which was held on Sunday, resolved to proceed on consultation with branches, adding that the consultation would be through within the next one day after which the union would come out with its position.

ASUU also stated that the Federal Government only met one out of the demands of the Union which is the NEEDS assessment; the revitalisation funds of N30billion which it claimed N20billion was paid to the universities.

He said, “It is the principal officers that met yesterday (Sunday)”, explaining that, “following our procedures, we are going to the branches to consult them and then we will come to take the final decision.”

Recall that on 15th November, 2021, ASUU had given the Federal Government three weeks to accede to its demands or face another round of strike.

It was, however, gathered that the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, is making efforts to stop the imminent strike action.

Recall that ASUU had threatened to embark on another round of strikes following the Federal Government’s failure to implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) agreed upon.

ASUU President, at a news conference at the union’s National Secretariat, University of Abuja, had called on parents and all patriotic Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible if it failed to address the issues within three weeks after the news conference.

He said despite the unions meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, on October 14, on major outstanding issues which include, funding for revitalisation of public universities and earned academic allowances.

Other outstanding issues, he said, were University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) promotion arrears, renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and the inconsistencies in IPPIS payment, which up till now had not been addressed.

“ASUU is fully committed to upholding academic integrity in the universities and is working to make them more globally competitive.

“We are equally committed to promoting industrial harmony in the Nigerian university system for as long as all stakeholders are willing and committed to play their part.

“We call on all vice-chancellors, as the main drivers of the system to join us in this mission to safeguard the waning image of our universities.

“They have no business trading honorary degrees and academic positions for personal and immediate gains; thereby smearing the collective integrity of committed scholars and other patriots who are working day and night to uplift the system that produced them.

“Our union shall not shy away from taking the fight to administrators of Nigerian universities as well as internal and external agents who are bent on compromising the standards ASUU has consistently laboured to protect and improve.

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“Government of Nigeria should be held responsible should ASUU be forced to activate the strike it patriotically suspended.

“Finally, we call on all patriotic Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria to prevail on the federal and state governments to act fast to prevent another round of industrial crisis in Nigeria’s public universities,” he had said.

Source: SaharaReporters.com


Earlier: ASUU Gives FG One-Week Window to Release N22.27bn Earned Allowances

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has again warned the Federal Government to, without further delay, release the N22.27 billion it said it had approved, to pay the earned academic allowances owed its members. 

The union said that is the only way to avert another indefinite strike when its three-week ultimatum expires expired. 

The President of the union, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, gave the warning on Sunday in an interview with Nigerian Tribune, saying the three-week ultimatum remains only one week more before the union can take the next action, should government fail to yield to its side. 

According to him, up till now, ASUU has not heard anything from the Federal Government concerning the release of the money despite all the promises and it has not also officially communicated to us about the matter. 

ASUU at different fora in the last few months and, particularly after the expiration of its August deadline, had been sensitising the public about its lingering contentious issues with the Federal Government threatening to embark on strike should the Federal Government continue to refuse to honour the last agreement it reached with the union last December. 

The agreement borders on the provision of funds for the revitalisation of dilapidating infrastructure (hostel accommodation, befitting lecture theatres, state-of-the-art laboratories, good working environment for lecturers, and so forth), payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), arresting the trend of proliferation of state-owned universities while neglecting the funding of the existing ones, among others.

Source: Nigerian Tribune


Earlier: Federal Govt to Meet Lecturers This Week to Avoid Planned Strike

The national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and delegates from the Federal Government will reportedly meet later this week in a bid to avert another strike.

The date for the meeting will be communicated to the leadership of ASUU during the week by the government team which will include officials of the Education and Labour Ministries, the ministers and leaders of some relevant government agencies.

The Chairman, Lagos Zone of ASUU, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, while speaking with our correspondent yesterday, said the meeting would hold this week, going by assurances from the government side.

“As a union, we are not opposed to negotiation and amicable resolution of issues. In this case, we are awaiting the government team to call us for the meeting. They said it’s going to be this week, we are waiting. They have not given us the date but we are waiting.

“There is no doubt that we have given the government enough time to meet our demands and do the needful. We met with them on August 2, this year and following the meeting, we gave them till the end of August to do certain things.

”The deadline lapsed and up until now, none of the demands has been met. We have given them more than enough time.

“Let us be hopeful that they would do the needful this time around. But people can see that ASUU has been reasonable and considerate enough,” he said.


Earlier: ASUU Strike Looms As Federal Govt Keeps Mum Over The Union’s Agitation

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have asked Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible for their next action, This followed the failure of the government to honour an agreement it signed with them and the expiration of the August 31st deadline given by ASUU for the agreement to be met.

According to ASUU, the union will hold an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) this week with its leaders and principal officials to decide its members’ next line of action.

The union said it will follow-up its NEC meeting with consultations with all its chapters should the government fail to implement its promises to its aggrieved lecturers.

So far the Federal Government has not spoken on the latest agitations by the varsity teachers.

ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke said the NEC would convene to weigh available options and take a position.


Earlier: We’re Not Commencing Strike Tomorrow – ASUU Decries

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has decried that it is not embarking on industrial action from Tuesday, a member of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the union said.

The NEC member, who is also the Chairman of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, chapter, Dr. Dele Ashiru, in a chat with Vanguard on Monday, explained that there are steps and processes for the union to embark on strike.

He, however, agreed that the union gave the Federal Government up till Tuesday, August 31, to meet some demands.

According to Ashiru, “Yes, we gave the government till the end of this month to meet some demands of ours.

“However, assuming that the demands are not met within the stipulated period, we won’t just begin an industrial action that same day.

“The reason is that ASUU is not a one-man union and is not run like a one-man show. If the demands are not met, the national leadership would call a meeting of NEC and report back to it.

“It is at that NEC meeting that the next step would be decided on. As we talk now, no NEC meeting has been called and so the likelihood of a strike starting on Tuesday is not there.

“Our demands from the government are just three. We want the government to sign and implement the renegotiated agreement we have with them;

“That the government should also mainstream our Academic Earned Allowances and to pay the N40 billon Revitalisation Fund,” he explained.

Recall that the union and the FG had a face-off that led to a nine-month strike by ASUU last year.

The strike was called off last December, but up until now most of the promises made by the government are yet to be fulfilled.

Other issues that union wants the government to address are the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System, IPPIS, and the proliferation of universities, especially by state governments in the face of poor funding.

Source: Vanguard


Earlier: ASUU to Embark on Nationwide Strike If FG Fails to Honour Agreement By Aug 31st

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that the union is gearing up for another strike action due to the failure of the Federal Government to implement an agreement signed with the union. The union has given the FG until Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 to reach out to them or they will have no other option than to activate the procedure of embarking on strike.

According to the President of the union, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who disclosed this in an interview, the FG no longer picked its calls.

He said, “The government has refused to reach out to us. Government officials have stopped. In fact, they don’t take our calls again. Nigerians should tell the government to do what they agreed to do.

“We signed an agreement and even in May, we reached a final agreement; this is August and nothing has been implemented. Does it make any sense? We are giving them till the end of August and after that, we start the procedures.”


Earlier: ASUU Threatens Fresh Strike Action

The national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has asked Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible if the outstanding issues in the Memorandum of Action (MOA) of December 23, 2020, and issues related to the draft renegotiated agreement of May 2021 are not signed by August ending.

National President of the union, Comrade Victor Emmanuel Osedeke, disclosed this on Monday at a press conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the end of the National Executive Council meeting held at the University of Ilorin.

He urged Nigerians to put pressure on the Federal Government to sign the agreement in the bid to forestall any imminent strike action by the union.

“ASUU hopes authorities at both the Federal and state government levels would give these matters the urgent attention they deserve to sustain and improve on the current industrial peace on our university campuses,” he stated.

“As at now, a number of issues which border on the welfare and working environment of our members hang precariously on the path of a smooth working relationship between ASUU and governments (Federal and State) in Nigeria.

“Most topical among these are the outstanding issues in the Memorandum of Action (MOA) of 23rd December, 2020 and the issues related to the Draft Renegotiated Agreement of May 2021.”

Comrade Osodeke condemned the plight of state-owned universities saying, “The union is particularly petrified by the declining fortunes and their utter neglect by state governors whose responsibility it is to fund, staff, equip and make the universities nationally and globally competitive.”

He warned that unless urgent and necessary steps are taken, our state-owned universities may soon collapse beyond redemption, hoping that the concerned state governors, governing council, and other individuals and agencies would rise to prevent the calamity.

The ASUU President called on all owners of state universities to, among other things, urgently make adequate budgetary provisions for both capital and recurrent expenditure for infrastructure, staff development, and payment of staff emoluments starting with 2022 budgets.

Osodeke, also asked for the provision of functional pension schemes in line with the 2014 Pension Act, and payment of all salaries and allowances (Including EAA) owed staff with a concrete plan for regular payments subsequently.

He further requested the domestication of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provision) (Amendment) Act of 2012 in all universities where that has not been done.

The union boss further asked the owners of state universities to pay all arrears of third-party deductions such as check-off dues, cooperative contributions and bank loans and pension deductions.

He cautioned against forms of threats and victimisation of ASUU members who legitimately speak out on behalf of the union on the need to address the nagging issues.

On the state of the nation, the union lamented the worsening insecurity situation particularly as it affects the country’s educational institutions.

“Indeed, the mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of Professor R.B.Adeniyi, of the Department of Mathematics, University of Ilorin, like some others before him on our campuses, had remained unresolved for several months,” he noted.

Comrade Osodeke, charged Nigerian rulers to look inward, tackle corruption headlong, use intelligence to fight insecurity, and gird their loins for home-grown solutions to Nigeria’s problems before other countries and the global community could take us seriously.

Post Credit: DailyPost

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