Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike action.
The union disclosed that the planned industrial action is to press home their demands for the implementation of its 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.
This was made known by the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Olusoji Sowande.
Prof. Sowande at a news conference which held in Lagos on Tuesday said the union planned to embark on the strike as several efforts to get the government to address their demands have failed.
He disclosed that the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on funding of state universities, breaches of the conditions of service and re -negotiation of the agreement, were still pending.
According to him, other demands of the union, including the exclusion of Nigerian universities from Pension Management Company (PENCOM) and non-release of NEEDS Assessment Intervention Fund were yet unmet.
He stated that funding of state universities, earned academic allowance, and renegotiation of the agreement were parts of the outstanding issues.
ASUU had in 2012 and 2013 embarked on a strike action, in an attempt to make the government implement the agreement.
Sadly, the issues still remained unresolved, said Prof. Sowande.
ASUU Threaten Nationwide Strike Action
Prof Sowande said:
“The review of the agreement should have been undertaken in 2012 and 2015 but that did not happen.
“The implication is that our union has shown enough patriotism and understanding on these matters in the last four years.
“We are perplexed and disappointed that both the Federal and State Governments are not responding to our consistent appeals to bring about genuine transformation in the education sector.’’
According to him, the only language government appears to respect and listens to is that of strike action.
He noted that the minister had promised that the issues raised in May this year would be resolved within two weeks but nothing had yet been done.
Prof. Sowade, therefore, appealed to all genuinely progressive individuals and groups to prevail on both the Federal and State Governments to commence release of funds for the listed purposes.
According to him, this will arrest the brewing and potentially combustible situation in the Nigerian university system, and prevent it from degenerating into a serious conflagration.