By Gabriel Dike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal Government of pushing lecturers to embark on another industrial action.
The union also disclosed that strikes by university lecturers has led to improved facilities in the nation’s public universities through the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
ASUU Lagos Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Adelaja Odukoya, flanked by the National Treasurer of ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande and branch chairmen, spoke in Lagos, yesterday.
“We know what they want and we will give them at the right time. We are appealing to Nigerians to appeal to the federal government to do the needful before it is too late.
‘’The Federal Government is pushing ASUU to the wall. What we are doing is calling government to do the needful before we take the next action. ASUU has the capacity to do what it can do best, which is strike but we have chosen to dialogue first and also take our case to the Nigerian public.
‘’We don’t want to embark on strike but we being forced to take that route. If not for our strikes, our universities will have looked like national museum. ASUU led to the birth of TETFund which has salvaged public institutions, particularly state universities.’’
Odukoya said the union was compelled to embark on a nine months strike that led the government to implement the ASUU-FG 2009 agreement and breached severally leading to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Memorandum of Actions MoAs after strikes in 2013, 2017 and 2019.
“We are again, expressing our frustration at the depressing arrogance with which government has continued to wish away the collective sacrifice of our members, our students and their parents on these struggles.’’
He faulted the claim by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, that the Federal Government has met ASUU’s demands, stressing that out of nine demands, two have been implemented – composition of visitation panels and payment of promotion arrears.
According to him, the seven outstanding demands includes funding and revitalisation of public universities, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), state universities, University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), IPPIS, promotion arrears and renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FG agreement. Odukoya said the union is awaiting the approval of the federal government on the use of UTAS after its leadership had demonstrated how it functions to government officials and stressed that UTAS is the ultimate nemesis of the IPPIS.