Strike: FG, ASUU meeting ends in deadlock

ASUU spent 1,500 days on strike in 21 years

ASUU spent 1,500 days on strike in 21 years.THE Academic Staff Union of Universities has spent 1,500 days or 4.09 years on strike for the reason that return to democracy in1999, findings by this newspaper recommend.

This implies that about 19.5 p.c of each tutorial 12 months is spent on strike.

According to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, about 94 p.c of scholars attend Nigeria’s public tertiary establishments. However, most college students spend greater than the required time in class as a result of ordinary conflict between the federal government and lecturers.

For instance, in 1992, through the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida, a decree was promulgated which made strikes by lecturers a treasonable felony.

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The lecturers caught to their weapons and the Babangida junta bowed to strain.

However, findings present that the appearance of the civilian rule appears to not have improved tertiary training in Nigeria going by the frequency of strikes.

In 1999, the identical 12 months President Olusegun Obasanjo was inaugurated, ASUU spent 150 days on strike, and in 2001, the union spent 90 days on strike largely as a result of sacking of some lecturers on the University of Ilorin.

In 2003, ASUU launched into a strike that lasted for six months and spilled to 2004.

Earlier in 2003, college students had witnessed interruptions of their tutorial calendar on account of a strike which was referred to as by the Nigeria Labour Congress beneath the management of Adams Oshiomhole over the increment in petrol worth by the Olusegun Obasanjo authorities from N26 to N44.

Between 2005 and 2006, ASUU spent solely 10 days on strike however in 2007, the union launched into strike for 90 days after which for one week in 2008. However, the strikes grew to become extra frequent from 2009.

In 2009, the union launched into a strike that lasted for 120 days from June to October.

The authorities, in a bid to finish the protracted strike, made a number of agreements with the lecturers’ union a few of which included wage increments, improved funding for universities, and amending the Pension Act such that the retirement age of professors can be put at 70.

However, 9 months after the 2009 settlement, the South-East zone of ASUU launched into a strike.

The faculties that have been affected embody Ebonyi State University, Abia State University, Anambra State University, Enugu State University of Technology, and Evans Enwerem University.

The strike, which affected over 250,000 college students, began on July 22, 2010, and ended on January 18, 2011.

The purpose for the strike was the refusal of the South-East governors to decide to the settlement made between the Federal Government and ASUU relating to wage increment.

Although the strike was not nationwide, it was given full help by the nationwide physique of ASUU, led by its then President, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie.

Between 2011 and 2012, ASUU launched into a nationwide strike that lasted for 90 days as a result of refusal of the Federal Government to evaluation the retirement age.

On July 1, 2013, the union once more launched into industrial motion due to the federal government’s failure to launch particular funds for universities as acknowledged within the 2009 settlement.

Tensions heightened when the then performing Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, threatened to sack all lecturers in the event that they refused to return to work.

The authorities finally bowed to strain and launched $1.3bn right into a fund on the Central Bank of Nigeria. The strike was finally referred to as off on December 17, 2013, after 5 months and 263 days.

There was a respite in 2014, 2015, and 2016 as no main ASUU strikes occurred throughout the nation besides a seven-day warning strike in 2016.

However, on August 17, 2017, ASUU launched into a strike that lasted for 35 days as a result of authorities’s failure to honor the agreements of 2009.

Similarly, on November 4, 2018, ASUU once more launched into a strike that lasted until February 7, 2019, a complete of 95 days.

On March 23, 2020, ASUU launched into an indefinite strike, the identical week by which the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), imposed a lockdown to curb the unfold of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Government and ASUU have been at loggerheads over the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, a platform which the Federal Government mentioned all lecturers should be registered on or they might not be paid a wage.

However, ASUU opposed IPPIS and insisted that lecturers would reasonably use the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.

The strike has been on for over 259 days.

When contacted on the phone, ASUU President, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, mentioned the union had been doing properly to place the federal government on its toes.

He mentioned if not for ASUU, Nigerian public universities would have been worse than public major and secondary faculties.

Ogunyemi acknowledged that it was by means of ASUU’s protests that TETFund was born.

Ogunyemi acknowledged, “If you’re looking on the unfavorable aspect of the strikes, you must also have a look at the optimistic sides. If not for ASUU, there can be no TETFund. TETFund has been funding infrastructure and capital improvement each at federal and state ranges with grants from TETFUND.”

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