ASUU Strike Latest Update | Has ASUU Strike 2019 Been Called Off?

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ASUU Strike Latest Update

Strike: ASUU denies receiving N163bn from FG (28/1/2019)

 

THE Federal Government, yesterday, failed in its efforts to convince the Academic Staff Union of Universities,ASUU,to end the ongoing strike despite initial matching order for its representative at a meeting with the lecturer body to that effect.

ASUU Strike Latest Update | Has ASUU Strike 2019 Been Called Off?

After about four hours of the meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, led by the Minister,Senator Chris Ngige,the end result was deadlock. The development followed the inability of both parties to shift common grounds.

ASUU, FG to hold reconciliatory meeting (02/07/2019)

The Federal Government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will hold a reconciliatory meeting on Thursday in an effort to resolve issues that led to the ongoing strike called by ASUU.

ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said at the end of the last meeting held at the Ministry of Labour and Employment that there was an agreement to adjourn until Thursday after the leadership of the ASUU must have met other members to discuss the new government position of its demands.

“We have set of information for our members. Until we tell our members. We are making progress and the progress we are making is for everybody’s interest and stakeholders will benefit at the end of the day. We will be meeting on Thursday (today). We have trashed all grey areas so the progress we have made must first be related to our members.”

While confirming that both parties would meet for another meeting, Acting Director at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Iliya Rhoda, said in a statement that Dr Chris Ngige would preside over the meeting.

The statement said, “Furtherance to efforts at resolving the on-going industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, is scheduled to hold a conciliatory meeting with the executive of ASUU.”

STRIKE: ASUU conducts referendum among members

IBADAN—THE national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has conducted a referendum to decide whether to suspend the ongoing 3-month strike or not.

The national leadership of the Union had directed its zonal coordinators to meet with their branch chairpersons to conduct the referendum on the offers of government.

We gathered that over 200 members of the University of Ibadan chapter of the union who attended the congress voted for the continuation of the strike while a little above 50 voted for suspension with conditions.

Chairman of the University of Ibadan Chapter, Dr Deji Omole said the congress only conducted referendum on the offers of government saying the congress is the principal which guides the leadership of the union on their struggle.

On the new offers, Omole stated that government promised to mainstream the earned academic allowances into salaries from 2019.

He also hinted that government said as a sign of good faith, it will release N25 billion for the revitalisation of universities while the rest will be defrayed after identifying sources to fund it. Omole, who stated that government agreed to pay additional N5 billion to make the earned academic allowances N25 billion out of the owed N105 billion said ASUU wanted government to pay N30 billion.

According to him, the Federal Government has agreed that renegotiation should commence and end within six weeks. Sources at the congress, however, informed Vanguard “that members voted for the continuation of the strike because they doubted government sincerity in fulfilling its new promises following the  failure of the Buhari administration to fulfill the Memorandum of Understanding until the current strike.”

Atiku: I’ll triple education budget, end ‘disgraceful’ ASUU strike on day one as president

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he will triple the budget for education sector if elected president.

Speaking during the Silverbird Man of the Year event on Sunday, Atiku also said he would end the incessant strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from his first day as president.

The Buhari administration allocated 7.04% of the N9.120 trillion 2018 budget to education.

Federal universities have been shut down since November when ASUU embarked on strike following government’s failure to implement the agreement reached in November 2016.

The lecturers are demanding among things, the disputed registration of the Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company, fractionalisation of salaries in federal universities, gross under-funding and non-funding of state universities.

According to Atiku, the industrial action will receive his first attention as president if voted into office on February 16.

“I am aghast that as I speak, our students across the nation are not being educated due to the ASUU strike caused by an unresolved debate of about N60billion,” he said during the event which held in Lagos.

“If I get the job I am seeking, my first task on day one – along with naming my cabinet – will be to end this disgraceful strike and get our students back to their studies.

“I will also triple the amount the Nigerian Government spends on education from 7 percent of its budget today, not just to the 15 per cent recommended by UNESCO, but to 20 per cent.

“I recognize the value education can bring to the individual and the nation. But even more than that, I want every child in Nigeria to have the opportunities I had.”

Atiku also said the presidential election presents an opportunity for “a turning point” in the country’s development, adding that he has the requisite experience to “drive Nigeria to prosperity.”

We’ve done our part, ASUU should end strike soon – FG declares, releases N16.8bn (1/3/2019)

This is as the federal government on Saturday, February 2, revealed that it has released the sum of N16.8 billion to settle outstanding arrears – The minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said that the federal government had reached agreement with ASUU in the hope that the strike will end soon In a decisive effort to resolve issues that started the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU)’s prolonged strike, the federal government has released N16.8 billion to settle outstanding salary arrears of lecturers in universities.

The minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, revealed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, February 2, adding that the fund is to be released by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Vanguard reports.

Adamu stated that the federal government had resolved all issues, waiting for ASUU to end its industrial action.

The minister further stressed that agreement on the following have been reached: review of polytechnic act; government awaits the transmittal of the amended document by the National Assembly to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent, revitalisation of polytechnics and colleges of education and renegotiation of the 2010 agreements.

Adamu remarked that the federal government had directed Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, to source for additional N30 billion for polytechnics and colleges of education.

Adamu said: “Also for state owned polytechnics; the National Board for Technical Education has been directed to strengthen its regulatory mechanism including developing a new template for accreditation to address observed weaknesses. “And to ensure that proprietors of polytechnics including states and private owners meet their obligations to their staff.

“Again as a demonstration of Government’s commitment to continuous dialogue with the staff unions, the ministry will provide alternative funding for the stalled renegotiations in the polytechnics sub- sector.

“The National Board for Technical Education and the National Commission for Colleges of Education have also been directed to ensure compliance with the approved schedules of meetings with their respective Unions.’’

Adamu noted that the federal government had reached agreement with ASUU, and is optimistic that academic activities throughout universities in the country will resume in no time.

He praised the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) for calling off its strike to allow students continue with their studies.

FG, ASUU meeting ends in deadlock, adjourns to Feb 7 (1/2/2019) —9PM

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities have again failed to reach a compromise to end the ongoing strike by the university lecturers.

Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment while addressing newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the union on Friday in Abuja said the meeting was protracted.

He said, “The meeting was protracted, but the good news is that we have gotten to the end of the tunnel.

“We met them halfway and we have finished the gray areas and on the issue of N50 billion, we have offered what we have.

“We do not have N50 billion and we cannot do N50 billion, but we have offered them something reasonable.

“So they have to take it back, and go and present to their members”.

Ngige, however, expressed hope that students would return to school soon, saying “We will know when they will go back by Thursday”.

Earlier, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President said the meeting had been adjourned to February 7.

“So, far on the level of progress made so far, I cannot tell you that now until I tell my members.

“It is the feedback of the last meeting we came to present to government today.

“But right now, we have a new set of information that we have to go and present to our members. Until we tell our members, we cannot tell you,” he said.

Ogunyemi noted that progress had been made on the ongoing negotiations.

He added that “We are making progress and the progress we are making is for everybody’s interest and stakeholders will benefit at the end of the day.

“We will be meeting on Thursday, after which, we will address the press.

“We have dealt with all areas, so the progress we have made must first be related to our members.

“So until we tell them, and they tell us what to do that, that is only when we can relate to the press. The meeting is adjourned till Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the strike commenced on November 5, 2018.

The lecturers are demanding for the implementation of some agreements with the Federal Government since November 2009.

NAN also reports that one of their major demands is the implementation of university revitalisation fund.

Nigerian leaders ‘value cow more than youths’ – Nnamdi Kanu (1/2/2019)

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, on Thursday, weighed in on the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

Kanu lamented that the Federal Government allegedly budgeted N91billion for grazing reserves while nothing was allocated for education.

ASUU began its current strike on November 4, 2018 and the end to the industrial action seems not to be close as the Federal Government was yet to meet the demands of the aggrieved lecturers.

Reacting to the protracted strike, Kanu wondered why youths are still supporting leaders who he claimed, valued their “cows more than them.”

In a tweet, the IPOB leader wrote: “N91Billion for grazing reserves but nothing for education. ASUU is still on strike. Youths whose future are being stolen are in support of their oppressors who value their cows more than them.

“Nigeria is indeed a Zoo? No wonder Africans are easy to enslave, it’s genetic.”

NANS threatens to boycott, disrupt polls (1/31/2019)

THE National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS,  yesterday, threatened to boycott and disrupt the 2019 general elections should the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and its Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, counterpart and the Federal Government fail to reach an understanding and call off the ongoing strike

ASUU embarked on indefinite strike on November 5, 2018 to drive home the Federal Government’s alleged failure to honour the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, earlier signed between the union and the Federal Government.

NANS Zone B, comprising tertiary institutions in the South East and South South, at a peaceful demonstration at the Delta State end of the Niger Bridge, barricaded the expressway to register their displeasure over the lingering strike and called on the federal government to either negotiate with ASUU, or forget about the elections.

The protesting students, drawn from the eleven states of the South South and South East, were seen wielding placards of various inscriptions such as,   “ASUU/ ASUP strike, Another way to increase crime”; “ No resumption,  no election”; “We are tired of endless negotiations”; “End strike now”; “NANS Zone B wants Her Students back on campuses”; Nigerian Students have bright future; do not truncate it with strike”; “NANS Zone B says no to strike” and “Save education, end strike now” Zone B coordinator of NANS, Comrade Okereke Godson said students could not afford to stay at home while the country holds the 2019 general elections, warning that the umbrella body of the students would chase away voters on election day if the federal government failed to reach agreement with ASUU and end the strike.

He said: “Students constitute 46 percent of the electoral strength in this country and if the federal government fails to end the strike, we see it as a deliberate attempt to rig the poll because the election cannot hold while we remain at home. Let them open our campuses or election will not hold.”

Police warns Nigerian students over Niger Bridge, gives reasons (1/30/2019)

The Anambra State Police Command has warned the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Zone B, against its planned move to barricade the Niger Bridge in Onitsha.

NANS planned to block the Bridge to protest the current strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, warned organisers of the protest to steer clear of the Onitsha Bridge Head.

In a statement he signed, Mohammed said the warning was to help forestall serious traffic congestion and avoidable hardships to the general Public.

According to Mohammed: “It has come to the knowledge of the Anambra State police command that members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone ‘B’ have concluded plans to stage a protest tagged “Operation No Movement,” aimed at registering their displeasure over the perceived delay in resolving the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).

“During the protests, members of NANS plan to occupy the Onitsha Bridge Head, which is the gateway to the South East and other parts of South-South geopolitical zones thereby paralysing vehicular movements and economic activities in the state.

“In view of the foregoing, the command wishes to warn organisers of the protest to stay clear of the Onitsha Bridge Head which is the gateway to the South East. This is to help forestall serious traffic congestion and avoidable hardships to the general public.

“The command will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to prevent any individual or groups of individuals from disrupting the relative peace enjoyed in the state which the command and other law- enforcement agencies work assiduously to maintain.”

ASUU Issues Stern Warning To Vice Chancellors Over Non-Compliance (1/29/2019) 7PM

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened that it would sanction some university Vice-Chancellors who have been “uncooperative” in the ongoing strike by the lecturers.

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ogunyemi was reacting to the allegation that some vice-chancellors have been intimidating lecturers in their institution and have ordered them back to the classroom, while some have reportedly commenced examinations.

According to him, the union may be preparing for a confrontation with some of the vice-chancellors that have defaulted and failed to cooperate.

“The attitude of some of these vice-chancellors is worrisome; the union will be prepared to engage such vice-chancellor when the ongoing strike is suspended or called off, ” he said.

He expressed regret over some members of the union, who choose to betray their conscience by opting out of the strike.

He added that such members who may be aggrieved ought to take opportunity of available internal mechanism for resolving such crisis, saying that the union will address the issues at the appropriate time.

Ogunyemi, however, noted that there are reasons some members may have opted out of the action in some campuses.

According to him, some vice-chancellors are uncooperative even though they will benefit in the university system what ASUU is agitating for.

“In some places, some of them will misapply the fund. That is why there will continue to be crisis, so when we go back, we are going to engage many of the vice-chancellors.

“Like in some state universities, their governors are playing the ostrich, pretending to be funding their universities.

“Today, we call many state universities TETFund universities because the bulk of their capital projects in the last ten years came from TETFund support and lately, the NEEDS assessment grant.

“Governors, who own such universities, will be giving their vice-chancellors directive to go and open the universities.

“They are just not being sincere to themselves because they are actually not doing what is expected of them.

“Another reason is because some of our members are aggrieved for reasons best known to them. Some have threatened to pull out of ASUU and go their own way.

“When you take it on the balance, you find out that within their inner self, they are not opposed to what we are asking for because the Earned Academic Allowances will go to them, revitalisation fund and the salary shortfall, it will be refunded to them,” he said.

According to him, at the end of the day, it is a matter of conscience. Some of our members are, like you find in any group, those who betray their conscience. We cannot stop them because they are exercising their right.

“But for those who pretend to be with us and are not with us, we will take them through our process at the appropriate time because every organisation has its own disciplinary mechanism,” he said.

ASUU had commenced an indefinite strike on Nov. 5, 2018, demanding for increased funding of the university education by the Federal Government.

ASUU questions integrity of OAU exams, certificates (1/29/2019)

The Obafemi Awolowo University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has questioned the integrity of the examinations being conducted by the institution, as well as the certificates that will be awarded to its graduates.

 The ASUU Chairman at OAU, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos on Monday, said it was worrisome that the management of the university started conducting examinations for students despite the ongoing nationwide strike and unavailability of lecturers in many universities.

The two academic unions at the university are divided over the ongoing strike and while ASUU members are on strike, members of the Congress of University Academics have refused to join the strike.

 Egbedokun said the examinations being conducted by the university would dent its reputation because the management ignored the regulations and requirements that could qualify students to sit for examination so as to hurriedly conduct the examinations and bring the semester to an end.

 He said it was unthinkable that lectures were going on simultaneously with examinations in some cases and wondered how the school management wanted the affected students to perform in such a situation.

 The ASUU chairman said, “It is worthy of note that ASUU OAU believes in both quality and integrity. Since the current semester was just five weeks-old when the strike was declared, it means we have an outstanding of seven weeks of lecture before examinations.

“Anytime that ASUU strike is either suspended or called off, the union will resume work and continue from the sixth week of lecture and then cover the seven weeks we were yet to do. One thing that must be made clear is that as much as the calendar is sacrosanct, so is the university regulation more sacrosanct.

“The final year examination questions did not undergo the mandatory moderation by an external moderator because such external moderators are fully on strike in their various universities. This calls to question the integrity of the examinations and the purported certificate the university is about to award to such unsuspecting students

“Part 4 courses are re-allocated to graduate assistants, who are not supposed to teach. We also have information that non-academic staff are being asked to supervise students’ long essays in some departments.

When contacted for his reaction, the Chairman of the Congress of Universities Academics at OAU, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, challenged ASUU to back its claims with proofs.

Describing ASUU’s claims as unfounded, Sunmonu said he was very sure that students at the Department of Physics were taught everything in the syllabus by qualified lecturers.

The Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, could not be reached for his reaction to the claims. He had, however, said earlier in a statement issued before the commencement of the examination that effective teaching was done before the examination started.

The statement said, “To further set the record straight concerning ASUU’s lies, at a management meeting held on December 17, 2018, reports from provosts and deans indicated that effective and efficient teaching had been carried out in all faculties even though a few lecturers (less than 20 among an academic staff population of over 1300) had not completed the teaching of their assigned courses.

“Their teaching assignments have been reassigned to other academic members of staff who have gladly taken up the challenge to ensure that we have a smooth academic session.”

Strike: ASUU denies receiving N163bn from FG (1/28/2019)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Sunday denied receiving the sum of N163bn from government in a bid to suspend the three-month-old strike.

In a statement titled,  ‘Re: N163bn released to ASUU: Putting the record straight,’ signed by the Ibadan zonal coordinator of the union, Dr Ade Adejumo, the union, said, “Once again, the attention of our union has been drawn to another piece of misinformation which gives the impression that ASUU collects money from government.

“For umpteenth time, let it be known that our union is a patriotic organisation whose activities are driven by principled conviction that the resources of the country can better be managed for the ultimate benefit of the Nigerian society, especially the education sector which is our immediate constituency.

“The government and all civilised individuals are aware of how the university is managed, so also the resources available to it. The government knows that it is the council and the university administration that receive and spend all the money coming into the university. ASUU doesn’t receive money from government and doesn’t spend it.”

It added, “Even money meant for our salaries and other allowances come directly to the university administration which prepares the budget and manages it. ASUU members collect only their salaries as paid by the university. Contracts and all the capital projects are awarded by the councils that are appointed by the government, not ASUU.

“It is in the context of the above that our union calls on the vice-chancellors and council chairmen to stop behaving like vultures that wait silently by the sidelines, waiting for the game to fall only to descend on the carcass.

“They should join forces with ASUU in its struggles to attract requisite funding into our public universities rather than working at cross purposes with us. Part of the least expected from them is to come out openly to put the record straight each time the government comes out with the deliberate falsehood that money has been released to ASUU.”

The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, had earlier on Saturday, similarly said that the Federal Government claim that it released N163bn to settle part of the demands of the union was misleading.

Ogunyemi, who spoke on the sidelines of the Nigeria Labour Congress meeting in Abuja, said, “The minister referred to the release of N163bn but that was not released by the Ministry of Education to revitalisation. That fund he alluded to was from TETFUND. TETFUND was there when we carried out the NEEDS Assessment in 2012. What we called Revitalisation Fund today is a product of that exercise of 2012. We have always drawn a line of distinction between what TETFUND gives and what we should access from the NEEDS Assessment Fund.

“They are different terms of intervention that should not be equated to one. TETFUND as an intervention agent is ASUU’s brainchild which became a reality. The funds from NEEDS Assessment is to fix specific items of deficiency in our system. Both Federal and state governments have now relinquished their responsibilities to TETFUND, they now hold on to it.

ASUU strike may end this week – Minister

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has said the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities may end this week.

The minister disclosed this during a briefing with reporters on the proliferation of illegal institutions in the country, at the weekend in Abuja.

The ASUU have been on strike since November 4th, 2018.

Malam Adamu said: “Perhaps by next week I hope the ASUU strike will be over.”

But when contacted, the ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, in a text message, said the union was still consulting on whether to end the strike or not.

According to him, the union wants to take stock of what government have promised.

He said: “All I can say, for now, is that we are still consulting. We need to take stock of government’s promises in terms of aspects that have been fulfilled and what is left.

“The feedback and assessment of our members will guide our response in subsequent engagements with government. We hope the expectations of our membership would be met in the new week.

On whether the universities have accessed the N15.89 billion released by the federal government, he said: “We are cross-checking with the concerned universities. Until we confirm that all the universities have received the money, I cannot confirm.

“And please note that ASUU does not collect money from government, financial releases are made directly to universities. That’s why we need confirmation.”

The government has been meeting the university lecturers since the strike began.

However, one major issue that keeps dragging the negotiations back and forth is the revitalisation of universities.

At present, the government is yet to release the N1.1 trillion it agreed to release as part of the funds for the revitalization project.

The 2013 MoU stipulated that public universities needed 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.

Although the previous government of Goodluck Jonathan released N200 billion in 2013 nothing has been released since then.

Lecturers vow to continue strike, reveal who to blame (1/26/2019)

The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Joel Okewale, has said that Federal Government should be blamed for the continuing strike action by the Union.

He said the Federal Government has been “insincere, deceitful and unwillingness to resolve the issues raised by the Union.”

Okewale stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen at the ASUU Secretariat, OOU Mini Campus, Ago Iwoye.

The briefing was attended by the Secretary of the branch, Olugbenga Azeez, the immediate past zonal coordinator (Lagos) of ASUU and member of the union’s negotiating team, Adetola Nassir and other branch executive members.

Okewale informed journalists that rather than addressing and resolving the main issues that led to the strike, the Federal Government had engaged in dishing out false information to raise hope of Nigerians over the matter.

He noted that “government has not shown serious commitment to the defraying of the outstanding N1.1trillion revitalisation fund and the shortfalls in salaries to affected ASUU members.”

He pointed out that this “situation would make the suspension of the ongoing strike difficult.”

Okewale explained further that “the revitalisation fund as contained in the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA) between the FG and ASUU, were meant to ensure rapid transformation of Nigeria’s public universities for improved efficiency, infrastructural development and global competitiveness.”

He added that the union had “agreed with the FG to release the outstanding revitalisation fund in tranches at N220b annually.”

He said that the release of N25b by the government to 69 public universities and which was widely publicised, was a far cry from what was agreed upon.

On the payment of shortfalls in salaries of ASUU members, Okewale disclosed that “N20b released by the FG for the purpose was not meant for university lecturers alone, but for staff of MDAs, polytechnics, colleges of education and others.”

According to him, “the Union would continue with the strike action until the FG shows serious commitment to the payment of revitalisation fund, renegotiation of 2009 agreement and addressing of other matters such as release of NUPEMCO’s operation license by PenCom, full payment of arrears of shortfalls in salaries of university academies, release of the report of forensic audit on Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), payment of outstanding arrears and mainstreaming of the allowances into 2018 budget, among other demands.”

Strike Will End When Govt Addresses Our Minimalist Proposal, Says ASUU President (1/24/2019)

Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has stated that the Union has not watered down the initial demands it made at the beginning of the on-going strike.

In an interview with Daily Trust on Wednesday, the don stressed that the strike will only end when government addresses the demands of the lecturers.

There have been various back-and-forth meetings between the presidency and the union since the strike started in November 2018. This has been followed by speculations on a possible end to the protest soon.

However, restating the stance on the union’s demands, Ogunyemi stated: “The strike will end when government addresses our minimalist proposal sent to it. We have reduced what we proposed drastically. What we propose now is a far cry from where we started. So, government must address this proposal that we have before it in order to pave way for the suspension of the strike action. Unless it does so, we cannot go back to our members to prevail on them to consider other positions than where we are.

“What we are doing now is that we are making a sacrifice for students to secure their future. We are sacrificing our today so that our children can have public universities that they can be proud of in the future. Those of us who are struggling now, went to public universities and if students are lucky to be in those universities, they should also support us in defending the universities from collapsing.

“The trouble we are making is that we don’t want a situation in which our universities would collapse just like our primary and secondary schools have collapsed. That is the context from which we want people to appreciate the ASUU struggle.”

He also called on well-meaning Nigerians to join the Union in appealing to government to provide positive response to their demands, as it is what is necessary from prevent the collapse of public universities.

ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, speaking at the end of the marathon meeting, vowed that his organisation would continue with the ongoing strike unless government met the demands being pushed by the union Ogunyemi, speaking at the rescheduled meeting with the government,said: “We have not suspended the strike, the discussion will continue at a later date. We are going back to our members for further consultation. FG gave us reaction to our proposals but there were still grey areas that we are trying to sort out. “Before the strike can be suspended, the most critical area that FG must address is revitalization. It is central to our academic work, unless that area is addressed, our members will still have issues. We are not demanding for N50bn, we are saying that the minimum that FG can release to reactivate revitalization fund is N50bn.”

On his part, Senator Chris Ngige, who led government’s delegation, regretted that in spite of “substantial commitment to ASUU demands”, the body was yet to shift grounds. Ngige,who expressed frustration at the development, said the government’s team would meet the leadership of ASUU again when they were prepared. Ngige,who said he appeared at the meeting with hope of ending the strike as directed by President Buhari,regretted that the aim was not achieved.

“We did not take a long time than we anticipated. We have other commitments but the important thing is that we have made substantial progress. We have reached some agreements in seven areas. Most of the issues have been resolved but ASUU will need to consult its members and come with what they think,” he said.

Those who pulled out of strike will regret it – ASUU (3Hrs Ago)(1/2019)

Since the Academic Staff Union of Universities commenced its nationwide strike on November 5, 2018, at least six universities have pulled out of it and opened their doors to students.

When our correspondent contacted the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, for his reaction to the development and the perceived disunity in the union’s ranks, he said the institutions that pulled out of the strike due to pressure from their vice-chancellors, or governing councils, would regret their actions in the future.

Ogunyemi said, “Those universities perceived as pulling out are certainly not against what we are asking for. Our members are in institutions like the Obafemi Awolowo University, which decided to work against us and deliberately sabotaged our efforts to reposition the universities.

“Those who said they do not agree with us are not against the funds for revitalisation that we are demanding. They are not against academic allowances or the payments of shortfalls that we ask for. They are not against fixing our universities.

“A lot of factors have to be considered when we talk about some universities pulling out. It is not that they actually mean to do so. Some intervening forces or variables may be at work. There are cases where vice-chancellors are overzealous, although they will be the greatest beneficiaries of what we are asking for. Some institutions were compelled by their governing councils to resume academic activities. In other situations, some governors or vice-chancellors deliberately created problems for us.

“Those vice-chancellors usually end up regretting their activities, but that does not stop us from resorting to our in-house procedure in dealing with chapters that pull out of national strikes. They will all be subjected to our in-house procedures.”

Ogunyemi also said that 90 per cent of the union’s members were still in support of the strike and they were not bothered about chapters that pulled out.

“Over 90 per cent of our members are still together and that is good enough for us because what we are doing now is a movement and those who fail to participate will regret their actions. They know that when the Federal Government releases funds for revitalisation, all public universities will be covered.  The conscience of those who refused to participate in the strike will continue to prick them. Those who sabotaged us will have a moral burden and that is what we have always told them.

“If you go to state universities, many of the new projects you will see are technically being funded with capital funds from grants coming from NEEDs assessment and TETFund. If such universities are being forced to pull out, you will know that it is always against the wish of our members. We are not bothered,” he said.

ASUU strike nears end as details of FG’s meeting with union emerge (5Hrs Ago)(1/22/2019)

The Federal Government says it has released N163 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)

Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this while addressing newsmen after a closed-door reconciliatory meeting with ASUU leadership on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the striking lecturers had embarked on strike on Nov. 5, 2018, to press home their demands.

ASUU demands included some areas of understanding in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action agreed to in 2017.

Some of these areas include shortfall in salaries of some Federal Universities’ workers and lecturers, earned allowances, revitalisation that were part of the 2009 agreement, among others.

According to Ngige, “today we have agreed to fund revitalisation.

“Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities.

“So, we have gotten some substantial agreement in most of the areas of the agreement.”

“Most of the issues have being resolved, so they are going to go back to their members and present government’s offer to their council,‘’ he said.

Ngige also said that the striking lecturers were not asking for N50 billion before they would call off the strike.

He, however, added that if the total amount of the union’s demand was aggregated it would be more than the N50 billion as the government was paying in different compartments.

“These are debts of 2009, owed by the past administration, that is 2009 to 2012, so it is not our own debt and we have been doing a lot to settle these debts.

“So, we will be reconvening at the instance of ASUU, they said they want to go and consult with their members and they cannot call off the strike without consulting with their members,’’ he said.

Earlier, the minister had said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated him to ensure that all issues concerning the ongoing strike in the university system were resolved.

“The president has directed me to pass the night here until all issues that have kept our children away from schools are resolved and strike called off.

“He has also directed me to impress upon you, the imperative of little sacrifice from all sides, knowing fully well that the revenue of the federation has dwindled from what it was before the present administration assumed office,” he said.

Ngige further said President Buhari was greatly worried about the situation in the university system, hence his steady and holistic approach to tackling the rot through adequate funding.

He said, “Mr president told me to assure you of his determination to reposition our universities as he would do everything possible to cast the present challenges in our tertiary education to dustbin of history.

Also, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, said that there were still some grey areas in the proposal presented by the Federal Government.

He said the union would look at the grey areas and would get back to the government.

“The most critical area is the revitalisation, because it is central to our work, as academics and unless that area is addressed our members will have issues with ongoing action.

“We also did not ask for N50 billion, we are saying that the minimum we expect government to release in order to reactive the revitalisation fund is N50 billion.

“So, the strike is still on,’’ he said.

Minister of education says ASUU strike will soon be called-off (2hrs Ago) (1/17/2019)

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has reportedly assured Nigerian students that the ongoing ASUU strike would soon be suspended.

Adamu while speaking at the 10th convocation ceremony of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State on Thursday, January 17, 2018, appealed to the striking lecturers to be patient with the Federal Government saying the ”strike will soon be called off.”

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked the Federal Government to release N50b to show its commitment to the agreement on revitalization of public universities.

The union’s president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi  said on Wednesday, January 17, 2019 as a condition for suspending the strike which started on Sunday, November 4, 2018.

The N50 billion will form the first tranche of the N220 billion government agreed for the project this year and add to the N20 billion earlier released for the year.

Ogunyemi reportedly said ASUU is not asking the government to release the whole N220 billion at once.

‘’The N50 billion they will release now, if you add to what they released, N20 billion for last year, we would have 150 billion left for the rest of the year and that has been spread over the next three quarters.

“That’s what we’ve been saying as our minimalist position,” Ogunyemi said 

Recall that ASUU earlier asked the government to pay N220b as a condition for calling off the ongoing strike.

ASUU meeting ends in chaos as aggrieved members chase zonal officers (1/17/2019)

There was crisis in Ekiti as aggrieved members of ASUU disrupted the meeting hosted by the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti – Crisis broke out when aggrieved members demanded that the local chapter chairman step aside before commencing the proceeding –

The meeting was aborted when aggrieved members stormed the venue and chased away those who wanted to hold the meeting Aggrieved members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) disrupted the meeting hosted by the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, chasing zonal officers in different directions, Daily Independent reports.

We gathered that crisis broke out when aggrieved members demanded that the local chapter chairman, Dr Adeniyi Omonijo, step aside before the commencement of the meeting.

However the zonal chairman, Akure Zone, Prof Olu Olu, was not willing to yield to the demand. The meeting which was billed for 1pm was aborted when irate members stormed the venue and chased away those who wanted to hold the meeting.

A leader of the union and Dean of Faculty of Arts of the university, Dr. Opoola Bolanle Tajudeen,reacting to the development, said: “There was to be a congress but there was no congress because our members felt strongly that Prof Olu Olu, who has been part of our problem in this chapter should not now come to foist any congress on us and they insisted that he cannot hold any congress when the chairman of our chapter that he is imposing on us has committed impeachment offences.

“There has been a resolution on ground that the chairman has committed impeachable offences and should go. “Our people really felt bad and demonstrated their grievances.

They spoke their mind. However there was no casualty. “The demands of our members who insist they are still part of ASUU is that current chairman of our branch Omonijo should step down because he has committed impeachable offences.

“Our people cannot allow a system where some people from outside would cone and lord over us. We have our own internal problem and we should be allowed to solve it internally. Our people want ASUU to move on but we don’t want Omonijo again.

NANS reveals what will happen if academic activities don’t resume before elections (1/17/2019)

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has threatened to boycott the 2019 general elections if the Federal Government fails to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The chairman of the Abuja chapter of NANS, Mojeed Omolaja, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, at a one-day conference organised by Online Publishers Association of Nigeria with the theme: “Free Press and objective reporting in the 2019 election year.”

Omolaja also distanced the FCT chapter of NANS from the faction of NANS led by one Akpan Daniels Bamidele, who was said to be a student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

The Bamidele-led NANS had visited President Muhammadu Buhari, where he endorsed his re-election.

Omolaja insisted that the NANS officials who paid courtesy call to the President were not fair, adding that the FCT chapter of NANS stood for integrity.

He said, “We in the FCT here are not part of those who went to eulogise the President; we stand for integrity and anything we get right in FCT will be got right in all the states of the federation because we lead and others follow.

“The Nigerian students will not vote in the forthcoming election if academic activities do not resume in the universities.

“In this forthcoming elections, we the FCT chapter of NANS that controls other chairmen in other states have deemed it fit not to participate in the election until when ASUU calls off the strike, because they can’t be playing with our future.

“Their children are going to school abroad and we are here and they still want their children to come and rule over us with their lackadaisical attitude towards our education.

“It is quite unfortunate that at this point in time students are at home doing nothing.

“The major reason we are at home is that ASUU is on strike and we expect the Federal Government to meet their demands because this incessant issue is a catastrophic setback to the students.

“Imagine somebody spending seven to eight years to finish a four-year programme. It is not done abroad. Is it because our parents don’t have the financial muscle to send us abroad?”

 

Lecturers speak on being used by political party to frustrate Buhari govt (1/16/2019)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has reacted to claims that it was being used by opposition political parties to frustrate the current administration.

The National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said that the union had always demanded that education be given priority.

Ogunyemi spoke to journalists after submission of the union’s reports to the Federal Government, yesterday.

He pointed out that in 2013, when the Union had embarked on strike, it was also accused of favouring the opposition.

He said, “Everybody knows that we have our own tradition of advocacy that is undaunted.

“We have our own strong conviction that we have always projected and defended on how education should be managed, supported and promoted in Nigeria and Africa.

“Look at the records. Our first agreement with government was in 1992. We were on strike for six months before we reached an agreement with the government. It was that agreement that gave birth to what we are doing today.

“Anybody that is turning round to say that we are being used, we will remind them that in 2013 when the spokesperson for a party said that ASUU was being unpatriotic and that we were ready to work for the opposition.

“The opposition then is the one in power so do we now go back to those who saw us as enemies or what? It is really laughable, myopic, unthinkable and without substance.”

Lecturers open up on why strike won’t be called off (1/12/2019)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has vowed that the ongoing strike would not be called off until the Federal Government fulfils all the agreement both parties reached in their last meeting.

ASUU said it was tired of Federal Government’s antics of making unfulfilled promises.

The lecturers insisted that the strike would be called off only if they got tangible evidence and concrete actions that the offers made to them by the Federal Government had been implemented.

The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this in an interview with reporters in Lagos on Thursday.

Asked when the strike would be called off, the ASUU President said, “Our members said they want to see evidence of satisfactory implementation of all they have proposed before the strike can be called off.”

On Tuesday, ASUU met with the Federal Government officials including the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, as well as his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige.

Ngige had told reporters that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance had confirmed with evidence that N15.4bn had been released to public universities.

But ASUU president continued, “As for the proposal, it can be disaggregated.

“There are items there that require implementation. If they are setting up a committee on state universities, and they actually do, it is not something we need to agree on. It is about action.

“If they have implemented it, it is off the list. If the government says it will pay a shortfall of salaries on a certain date, and the date comes and they release the money, it is also implementation. There is no agreement on the matter.

“On the revitalisation fund, we presented to the government that five tranches of N220bn each were outstanding. The government has not said it will release one, even if it is spread over a period of one year. There is no agreement on that. What they are offering is not even up to one tranche.

“Last year, they promised to release the fund but they did not till November when the strike began. Long story short, our members are saying they do not want promises again, what they want is action, implementation or disbursement of funds. The government must act in a way to convince the union that agreement has not been set aside; to show that government has not set aside the agreement, they should release one tranche.”

He explained that in order to forestall a situation ASUU and the government would restart negotiations on arrears of earned academic allowances, both sides agreed that “it would be mainstreamed into the 2019 budget.

“We are going to have a discussion on when to commence renegotiation because there are still grey areas. If the government can substantially address these issues, we will be more confident to face our members on the way forward. For now, the feeler we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.

“They said they would pay the shortfall of salary arrears of what was removed from workers’ salaries. There are 20 universities identified. The money will be available by January 18. It is around the corner and we will see if it will come.”

FG’s offer in resolving our demands still far from expectations – ASUU (1/10/2019)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the offer from the Federal Government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA) is still fluid and far from expectations.

ASUU, in Strike Bulletin 8 signed by its President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, a copy of which was obtained by DAILY POST on Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, asked its members to await rapidly unfolding developments from the strike.

As a union, ASUU said that it will not participate in the conduct of 2019 elections but its members may voluntarily participate.

Ogunyemi, in the bulletin, said the proposal from government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 MoA is still fluid and far from expectations.

He said, “Though some progress has been made with respect to discussion with Government agents (The Minister of Labour and Employment as well as Minister of Education), at the moment, the proposal from Government towards resolving the demand of ASUU as contained in 2017 MoA and Strike Bulletin 1 is still too fluid and far from expectations.

“Hence, it is the view of the NSCC that members should await further developments which are rapidly unfolding.

“In accordance with the ASUU’s long standing position, ASUU as a union will not participate in the conduct of 2019 general elections, although members may voluntarily participate in the conduct of the elections.

“However, members are prohibited from participating in the election processes using any material that bears ASUU or relates to the union.”

We are yet to reach agreement with Buhari govt – Prof. Ogunyemi (1/9/2019)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Wednesday declared that it was yet to reach an agreement with the Federal Government over the lingering strike.

President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said the negotiations between both parties were still inconclusive.

According to Ogunyemi, the team that represented the union at the meeting with representatives of government had no final say over calling off the strike action.

Speaking with Tribune, Ogunyemi said: “It was just yesterday (Tuesday) that government sent the proposal to us without waiting for feedback before going to the public that we have reached an agreement. ASUU does not operate in that manner.

“The ASUU team that met the Federal Government would have to consult our principal over the proposal which we are already doing.

“So, ASUU cannot make a pronouncement on a mere proposal. Until our principal agrees, there is no agreement. And that is what we have always emphasised to government that we are going to consult our members and if after consultation, our members think the proposal is good enough, we will get back to government and tell them that now, we have taken a decision which becomes an agreement.

“But so far on government proposal, we have not taken a decision. And our strike is still ongoing.

“If you say you are going to set up a committee and you have set up that committee, that one is clear. And if you say you are going to pay certain money for certain purpose and you have paid, that will not also cause further argument. But where we said you should release certain amount of money in five tranches within certain period of time, and you are saying well, you have paid N20 billion, or you have paid N2 billion or N15. 4 billion, it means you haven’t started.

“So, that is the level we are now. And we don’t have a final say on any proposal that is controversial. But for areas that are not controversial as I had mentioned, we will only need to confirm payment. If paid, fine. It then means that one is settled and we now move to another one that is yet to be settled. And the one that is not settled we will need to take feedback to our members and that is the position we are at the moment.”

FG approves over N35.4bn, to resume talks on Thursday (Just In)(1/7/2019)

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Barring any last minutes change, academic activities may resume in public universities next week, as Federal Government has approved over N35.4 billion for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

In a resolution reached Monday night between the Federal Government and the leadership of ASUU at the Conference Hall, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja, the government announced that Federal Ministry of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation have confirmed payment of N15.389.940,335.71 billion to accommodate payment of shortfall in all institutions that are Presidential Initiative of Continuous Audit, PICA varied.

The Minister of Labour and Employment who disclosed this at the end of the meeting said the money was remitted on the 31st December, 2018. Ngige also said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of N20 billion for payment of outstanding arrears of the 2009 and 2012 Earned Academic Allowances to the already verified university system.

“The money is being worked on and will be released to ASUU when the process is completed,” he said. He reiterated government’s resolve to grant permanent licence to ASUU to operate the National University Pension Fund Administrator Company (NUPENCO) that will manage the contributory pension of public universities.

To this end, the Minister explained that Federal Ministry of Education has been directed to liaise with National Pension Commission for the release of the permanent licence. Ngige also assured on the resolve of the Buhari administration to offer undisclosed amount from the N220 billion annual revitalisation fund for universities which was agreed during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration but was reneged on.

Latest On ASUU Strike

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FG to continue negotiation with ASUU on Monday (3 Hours Ago) (1/5/2019)

The Federal Government says it will continue negotiation process with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday to resolve ongoing industrial action embarked by the striking lecturers.

Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment said this in a statement signed on Saturday in Abuja by Mr Samuel Olowookere, Director of Press, in the ministry.

According to the statement, the meeting is in furtherance to efforts at resolving the on-going industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The Minister of Labour and Employment Sen. Chris Ngige is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Executive of ASUU. “The conciliatory meeting is scheduled to hold on Jan. 7, at Minister’s Conference Room by 30:30 pm prompt.

Reports have that ASUU commenced an indefinite strike on Nov. 5, 2018 over certain demands based on agreement reached with government in 2009.

One of the demands is the replacement of Dr Wale Babalakin as the chairman for the government renegotiating team of the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government Agreement.

Other issues are non-payment of earned allowance, funding of revitalisation of the Nigerian universities, implementation of needs assessment report, poor funding of state universities, among others.

Recall that as part of efforts by the Federal Government to end the strike, it commenced meetings with ASUU leadership on Nov. 15, 2018 followed by the last one on Dec. 17, 2018 before Christmas break.

Students appeal to ASUU, FG to resolve dispute (1/5/2019)

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Some undergraduate students in Nsukka, yesterday appealed to the Federal Government (FG) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to shift grounds and resolve their issues.

The students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they were tired of staying at home following the nationwide ASUU strike.

ASUU had embarked on the strike on Nov. 4, 2018 over FG’s alleged inability to fulfil the agreements signed with the union in 2009.

Charles Odoko from the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said, “I am also pleading with the FG and the lecturers to resolve their issues; I am tired of staying at home I want to go back to school this January. The FG should urgently meet the demands of ASUU as the constant strikes by lecturers are affecting the quality of tertiary education in the country.”

Jane Ukaegbu, of the Department of Political Science at the University of Lagos, said government and ASUU should consider the future of students and place that above other interests by resolving the dispute.

“I am urging the FG and the ASUU to reach a compromise so that students can return to school,’’ Ukaegbu said.

Kenneth Amadi from the Department of Psychology, University of Port Harcourt, said the frequent strikes by public universities’ employees were altering the academic calendar and distorting students’ set time of graduation.

“Government should consider poor parents who do not have lots of money to send their children and wards to private and foreign universities where the academic calendar is not tampered with,’’ Amadi appealed.

ASUU agrees to participate in 2019 general elections (3 Hours Ago) 1/4/2019

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday, January 4, announced that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has agreed to participate in the forthcoming general election.

The commission made the announcement was made via it’s verified Twitter handle, @inecnigeria. The agreement was reached at a meeting between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and officials of the union in Abuja.

The purpose of the meeting, INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, revealed, “is to discuss the ongoing strike by the Union but only in relation to our preparations for the General Elections.

Yakubu, had on Thursday, January 3, raised concern that the bulk of critical election duty staff are drawn from the universities. He said: “We are concerned that the bulk of critical election duty staff are drawn from the universities.

“We are determined to ensure that the (electoral) processes are not affected by the Union’s industrial action. “ASUU is a critical partner to the Commission in delivering credible elections.

We look forward to the meeting and we are confident of a positive outcome,” This is coming e development comes after the University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of ASUU told INEC not to depend on students and lecturers for the general election.

We have previously reported that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to depend on students and lecturers for the upcoming general elections.

Deji Omole, chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan (UI), made this known in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, on Thursday, January 3.

Omole who was responding to INEC’s worry that the strike will affect the elections if it continues till February, said even if ASUU was not on strike, its members participation in the election would have been voluntary and subject to each individual.

NANS to commence mass action against FG, ASUU, ASUP Jan 7 (1/4/2019)

The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has issued a notice to all its structures and organs to commence mobilisation for mass action against the Federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.

This was contained in a statement signed by the association’s President, Danielson Akpan. The ASUU commenced a nationwide strike on November 4 after lecturers accused the federal government of not implementing previous agreements.

The association had earlier issued an ultimatum of two weeks to FG, ASUU, and ASUP on December 23, to call off the strike or face confrontation. According to the correspondence, the association blamed the parties involved of not making appreciable steps in resolving the crises.

Akpan accused the university lecturers of not showing enough commitment to end the strike, saying they staged a walk-out during negotiations with the government despite the latter meeting two out of their three demands.

The three major issues, the NANS leader said, include the non-payment of some academic staff salaries shortfall, non-release of operational license for  Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company,  NUPEMCO, and non-payment of earned academic allowances.

“The minor disagreement over figures in salaries shortfall which the government claimed to be N15 billion as against ASUU’s N25 billion “None of the issues mentioned above directly improves the lot of Nigerian students or infrastructure and basic amenities on our campuses.

Again, why are Nigerian Students made to suffer for the interests of ASUU or ASUP which doesn’t improve lots of Nigerian students?” Akpan asked.

ASUU talks tough ahead of Friday meeting with INEC (1/2/2019)- 5 Hours Ago

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ahead of its Friday’s meeting with the Independent National Electoral Commission, has said that its ongoing seven-week strike is in the national interest.

The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated this in an interview in response to the call on the union to call off the strike, said nobody had the monopoly of national interest.

He added that the strike would not be called off until the Federal Government acceded to the lecturers’ demands.

There have been calls on ASUU to end the strike in the interest of the nation and to enable university students and the National Youth Service Corps members to work as ad hoc electoral officers during the February and March general elections.

As a result of the strike, many public universities have not rounded off the 2018/2019 session, thus their final year students have not gone for the NYSC.

The calls for the suspension of the strike became heightened last week when INEC raised the alarm that the face-off between the Federal Government and ASUU constituted a serious threat to the 2019 general elections.

The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, had pleaded with ASUU to suspend the strike in national interest and for the sake of democracy.

He had in an interview said the commission had convened a consultative meeting involving its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, national commissioners and ASUU leadership on January 4 (Friday) concerning the ongoing strike.

According to him, the meeting would focus principally on the issue of the role and involvement of ASUU members in the 2019 general elections.

Okoye said, “The national interest, the interest of our democracy and the reputation of Nigeria demand the immediate resolution of the issues that led to the strike and we so urge. It is next to impossibility for members of the NYSC to provide all the ad hoc staff needs and requirements of the commission and over 70 per cent of the ad hoc staff requirement in some states of the federation is drawn from students of federal tertiary institutions.

“Hence, the lingering strike by ASUU will no doubt have serious impacts on the preparations for the conduct of the 2019 elections. We therefore call on ASUU and the Federal Government of Nigeria to quickly and genuinely resolve the lingering impasse that has led to uncertainty in the education sector.”

But while confirming the invitation of INEC to the meeting, Ogunyemi said ASUU   did not declare the strike with INEC, adding, “It is what they (INEC) will tell us that will inform our response.”

He said, “Well, INEC has requested for a meeting. The INEC chairman has contacted us and we are willing to oblige them. So our own procedure is that since they have requested for a meeting, we will listen to them. It is what they will tell us that will inform our response. First of all, we didn’t declare the strike with INEC.”

On the call that ASUU should end the strike in the national interest, Ogunyemi asked,   “Did you know that our strike is also in the national interest because we want to produce better graduates that can serve INEC better and serve Nigeria better? We want them to have better citizens that can understand the electoral process better. We want to give quality education that would curb all electoral malpractices.”

The ASUU president explained that all the goals he mentioned could only be achieved through the provision of qualitative education, which he said, informed the union’s strike.

He stated, “So, it is only by insisting on the best quality of education that we can achieve all those things. Nobody has the monopoly of national interest. ASUU has national interest at heart in going on this strike. It is not about national interest sentiment. It is about what we are willing to do about our demands.

“I’m sure the demand to call off the strike in the national interest cannot be the only grounds for the meeting and I don’t want to preempt the meeting. It is when we listen to INEC that we will know what to tell them. If I preempt that meeting, it will seem as if I am not a patriot.”

Ogunyemi, who described ASUU members as patriots, said, “We have national interest at heart in doing what we are doing and INEC also appreciates that. We appreciate INEC as much as INEC appreciates us. We will meet them and rub minds, whatever the two parties will need to do, we shall do.”

Mark, Ekweremadu Seek End to ASUU Strike (1/1/2019) – 18hours Ago

Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, have joined other eminent Nigerians to call for an end to the lingering university lecturers’ strike.

Mark in a new year message yesterday urged the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to take necessary steps toward resolving the industrial action that has crippled public universities .

“Something has to be done to resolve this imbroglio that has lingered for so long. Whichever side it is viewed, this incessant strike is retrogressive and retarding development”.

He urged both parties to as a matter of necessity honour the agreements reached, otherwise, it becomes ridiculous entering into agreement if it would not be respected.

According to him, incessant labour strikes has continued to weaken our economy and put the future of the country in jeopardy and reiterated the need to reverse the trend in the interest of the younger generation.

Mark also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to brace up to the task of conducting free, fair, credible and acceptable elections in 2019 just as he cautioned politicians against the use of inflationary, rancorous and unprintable languages during the campaigns.

“We must be guided by the rules of the game. Politics is a game. It is a noble path to service to community. It is not an opportunity to fan the embers of war”, he stressed.

On his part, Ekweremadu emphasised the need to strengthen the security of lives and property as well as close the widening divisions in the country in the New Year.

The Deputy Senate President who made the call in his New Year message, said Nigeria could not be effectively secured under the current policing arrangement and urged all political leaders to work for the immediate realization of state police in 2019.

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