ASUU Suspends Nine-Month Strike

ASUU Strike | Lanre News
Professor Biodun Ogunyemi

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Wednesday suspended its nine-month-old strike.

Announcing the development, ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi stated the action followed a consensus of the Union’s National Executive Committee.

The suspension took effect starting Wednesday 23, 2020.

The Federal Government on Monday had claimed to have met 98% of the demands of the Union.

Speaking, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige had assured Nigerians that the universities are likely to reopen by January next year.

Addressing reporters at Alor in Idemili North local government area of Anambra State during the flag-off of medical outreach in the town, Ngige said: “We have met about 98 percent of the request of ASUU.

The remaining two percent is what you can call promissory notes. “So, I am very hopeful that by midnight Tuesday, there is work we are supposed to get on to do and ASUU members also have some work they are supposed to do on their own side with their people.”

This was coming after he had said the Federal Government had done everything possible to please the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to end its protracted strike that had paralysed academic activities in universities for about 10 months.

The minister, in a statement by his Media Officer, said only ASUU leaders could tell why members were yet to return to the classroom to the frustration of students and their parents.

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Also, on Tuesday, the Federal Government reassured that the prolonged strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would soon come to an end.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, gave the assurance in his opening remarks at the social dialogue between the government and ASUU.

A statement signed by the Deputy Director and Head of Press, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, quoted the minister as saying that those who are wishing for an EndASUU protest, will be disappointed.

He spoke against the backdrop of the ultimatum purportedly issued by Nigerian students to embark on protest if the ASUU strike was not resolved by January 15.

Ngige said though he had not received such a letter from the students, even if there was one, the government would disappoint all those wishing for the protest.

Why Did ASUU Embarked on Strike?

Against many Nigerians believe, ASUU embarked on strike because of an agreement it reached with the Federal Government in 2009.

The notion that the union embarked on its industrial action because of its rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Management System (IPPIS) was dispelled by a chieftain of the Union, Dr Christian Opata.

Opata, who is the Chairman of ASUU, University of Nigeria, Nsukka chapter, said; “ASUU didn’t go on strike because of a misunderstanding with government on IPPIS as platform for payment of salary.

“IPPIS issue started in 2018, before then, ASUU has been calling on government to honour the 2009 agreement and various MoUs it entered with government.

“In the 2009 agreement and MoUs, government agreed, among other things, to release money to revitalise the decaying infrastructure in public universities and set up visitation panels to know the condition of the universities,”

Likewise, the national president of ASUU, Prof Ogunyemi, in a chat with Vanguard Correspondent on December 6, had stated the Union is ready for the renegotiation of the agreement it reached with the Federal Government in 2009.

“We are not aversed to negotiation and sitting down with other stakehoders to consider the way forward.

“Therefore, we are ready to meet with the team they set up to meet with us. When they are ready, let them call us.

“We have heard some people saying some aspects of the agreement are not implementable, we are also waiting for them to come and point such areas to.us. Is it that the facilities in our universities should not be upgraded?

“Or that our allowances should not be paid? Or that the system should be revitalised? Or that there should be no end to the proliferation of universities by states?

“Or that Visitation Panels should not be set up to examine the books of the universities,” he asked.

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Opeyemi L.R

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