Government raises concern on continued ASUU strike

The Nigerian government has expressed dissatisfaction over the continued lingering strike in the country’s universities despite the commitment shown by the government to meet their demands.

The Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige stated this during their resumption on the conciliatory meeting with the leadership of the Academy Staff Union of Universities in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Minister while emphasising on the spirit of give and take between the union and the government stressed that any time the union went on strike, it affects the parent directly.

Dr Ngige said that the perennial crisis in the nation’s university system, which has resulted in the on-going strike by the ASUU, would soon be resolved.

He said the president was seriously worried about the situation in the University system,stating his willingness to approach the issue with a steady and holistic approach through adequate funding.

Commenting on some of the issues raised by the union on the earned academic allowances, he said President Muhammadu Buhari approved N20 billion to offset arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings by university teachers.

The President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said the action taken by the union was for them to get it right once and for all, especially as it concerns the future of country’s youth.

It could be recalled that, ASUU called the current strike to press for improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.

The union is also demanding implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU; 2012 and 2013) and Memorandum of Action (MoA, 2017) and the truncation of the renegotiation of the union’s agreements.

However, a major issue dragging the negotiations forth and back is the revitalisation of the universities. At present, the government is yet to release the N1.1 trillion it agreed to release as part of the funds for the revitalisation project.

The 2013 MoU stipulated that public universities need N1.3 trillion for a modest revitalisation. The fund was to be released in tranches of N200billion in 2013, N220billion 2014, N220billion 2015, 220billion in 2016, N220billion in 2017 and N220billion in 2018.

Source: Voice of Nigeria