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It is very paramount at this junction to write on ASUU Strike Update, as legion of Nigerian Students are right home doing nothing.
Recently news has gone through the air that ASUU will call off soon the ongoing strike, the strike that has kept many students at home since November 2018. Unfortunately, the news that ASUU will call off the strike which has given many Nigerians students the hope of returning back to academic activities is believed to be a rumor because ASUU and the Nigerian government are yet to come to an agreement.
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The stand ASUU was maintaining was channel to ensure that the federal government make resources available for renovation and setting on track public universities based on the earlier agreement that has this reference FGN-ASUU MoU of 2012, 2013 and the MoU of 2017 which also include the release of the operational license of the Nigerian University Employees Pension Company (NUMPEMCO).
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a total and indefinite strike since 4th November 2018, demanding improved funding for universities and also the implementation of previous agreements entered with the government. Meanwhile, some of the demand ASUU requested for include the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU; 2012 and 2013), implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements, and Memorandum of Action (MoA, 2017) and the truncation of the renegotiation of the union’s agreements too.
we’ll be writing on ASUU Strike Update giving you all ASUU Latest News and all you need to know.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) met with the Federal Government officials precisely the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) vowed that the ongoing strike would not be suspended or cut off until they the Federal Government fulfills their end of the agreement that was reached by both parties in their last meeting.
They (ASUU) rejected advances made to it earlier this week by the Nigerian government because the agreement has not been met and the lecturers insisted that the ongoing strike will only be suspended if there are reality or evidence and actions that the offers by the Federal Government would be implemented.
National President of ASUU Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, revealed on Thursday in an interview with reporters in Lagos when he was asked when likely can the strike be suspended, he replied that their Union members want to see evidence of satisfactory on the implementation on their agreed conclusion before they can suspend or terminate the ongoing strike.
ASUU met with the Federal Government officials on Tuesday that’s 8th January, including the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, as well as his Labour and Employment counterpart, Chris Ngige. Mr.Chris Ngige said that the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance presented evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to public universities.
He also said that the Nigeria President, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a sum of N20 billion to offset arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings by university teachers when asked earned academic allowances.
The ASUU President Biodun Ogunyemi, early on Saturday morning was in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES early where he said that upon the offers made by the government, members of the ASUU across the various university were not pleased with the offer made by the government.
ASUU president also said his members are insisting that government should release at least of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019 and he said the federal government insisted on the outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion as tokenism.
Also, he further added that on earned allowances, the proposal that the government made should not be lesser than the total amount released “the last time” out of the verified balance. In his statement he said that the agreement that was reached between ASUU and the federal government on the strike that took place in 2017 was not met.
Although Federal Government released a total N22.9 billion for earned allowances of both academic and non-academic staff across the 22 Federal universities in Nigeria, in which the academics staff got N18.3 billion, while the non academics staff belonging to the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) got a total sum of N4.6 billion.
In a respite to this, the three non-academic staff unions had protests across various campuses at the time, and also compelled the unions to embark on prolonged strike.
Apparently, to avoid the controversy of the sharing of allowance in 2017, ASUU is, therefore, insisting that the Federal Government should state categorically the amount earmarked for its members, which it said must not be lesser than N18.3 billion of the former.
Mr. Ogunyemi (ASUU president) said that the members of ASUU have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They on their stand that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019 because the members are really concerned about the two critical areas which are the revitalization fund and the earned allowances.
The union member is meanwhile waiting for necessary adjustment on government part before they can take any step towards suspending the ongoing strike. The president also said the proposal can be paid in part.
The major emphasis here is the government action towards their agreement is about action. According to him, there are items in the proposal that require implementation, so the government can set up a committee on state universities, likewise, they should also implement their agreement. He said if the items will be implemented then there will be no issue any longer. He said whatever the government proposed to do they should also implement it.
The government has said nothing concerning the revitalization fund presented to the government that five tranches of N220bn each were outstanding He says. And what the government is offering is not even up to one tranche.
He said the government always promised to give fund but they failed in their promises and the entire members are tired of promises that will never come through “Last year, the government promised to give the fund but they faulted on their promise till November when the strike began.
What the union wants to see now is action, an implementation which is the disbursement of funds. The government should at least act to convince the union that agreement has not been sidelined, and they should take a step of action by releasing one tranche.
He said further that for clarification, ASUU and the government would restart negotiations on arrears of earned academic allowances, both ASUU and government agreed during negotiations that “the fund would be mainstreamed into the 2019 budget. He said a discussion on when to renegotiate will occur because there are still grey areas yet to be discussed.
“We will be more confident to face our members on the way forward if the government can substantially address these issues “The government agreed that they would pay the shortfall of salary arrears of what was removed from workers’ salaries, he said 20 universities identified to have experienced this issue and the money is said to commence to be made available by January 18, 2019.
The date is very close and every one of the ASUU members is anticipation whether or not it will come through.
The government is yet to release the agreed N1.1 trillion out of the N1.3 trillion to provide for the exercise, and it was stipulated in the 2013 MoU that public universities needed N1.3 trillion for a modest revitalization. It was agreed that the fund was to be paid in tranches of N200billion in 2013, N220billion in 2014, N220billion in 2015, 220billion in 2016, N220billion in 2017 and N220billion in 2018.
ASUU president stated: “But, for now, one of the major issues that are still dragging the negotiations to and fro is the revitalization of the universities and from the look of things and the feedback we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.”
He said the point is that he doesn’t believe ASUU any Nigerian will believe and agree that the government does not have money for what they see as a priority. The so-called Polaris Bank that was bailout with the sum of N800 billion overnight. He said this is the point they are standing on that the government when they really want to do anything they will surely do it as far as is their priority. They knew where they went to, when they had a problem with the subsidy,” so they cannot keep telling us there is no money, he said.
He was asked when the union would again meet the government to reopen negotiation, and he says the union has the final say on when to fix a date and when to resume and it will be determined by their meeting with the government.
The news that the strike has been called off is nothing but a rumor as there is still a negotiation going on between the government and ASUU, and until they come to a final agreement the ASUU strike is still ongoing. It is, therefore, necessary that students should know that the whole matter is in the hand of the government to agree with ASUU and also make implementation of their promises. We all hope the strike will be called off soon. So far so good, that is all we have for your as regards ASUU Strike Update.