The National President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, on Wednesday, disclosed that the union might resume its suspended strike in February if the Federal Government fails to implement agreements signed with lecturers.
Prof. Ogunyemi during an interview with Punch disclosed why ASUU ended the nine-month strike.
While ASUU ended its strike, Non-academic unions in universities on Wednesday threatened to go on strike over N40bn earned allowances government promised to release to all unions.
They described the sharing formula for the money as unfair.
ASUU President on Wednesday said if the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government fails to fulfil its promises, members of the union would not hesitate to withdraw their services.
Recall that he stated during a press conference that the union would as from 12 am on Thursday (today) suspend its strike.
He disclosed that the decision to suspend the strike, according to Ogunyemi, was unanimously reached by the National Executive Committee of the union, after considering reports from the national secretariat and various branches.
Ogunyemi while assuring students that the union would fulfil its side of the agreements warned that the union would not hesitate to resume its suspended strike should government fail to reciprocate the gesture.
He added that ASUU is ready to return to classrooms and laboratories to rekindle the aspirations of its members to encourage their students to excel.
Ogunyemi further urged parents to take prime interest in their children’s welfare, learning, better funding, better laboratories, and free development to enable them to compete with their counterparts globally.
He said, “After diligent and careful appraisal of the various reports, especially the agreements reached by ASUU with the Federal Government of Nigeria on December 22, 2020, NEC resolved as follows:
“To accept the agreements reached between ASUU and the Federal Government on December 22, 2020, to consciously and diligently monitor the implementation of the FGN-ASUU agreements of December 22, 2020, in all branches.”
“To ensure that no ASUU member suffers any loss of deserved benefits as a result of participation in the strike, to pursue fervently FGN-ASUU agreements in 2009 and the MoA (memoranda of agreements) 2013.”
According to him, both sides also agreed that the earned academic allowances should be backed by a law and the amendment of the Executive Bill in respect of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Act, 2004.
He added, “Finally, NEC resolved to conditionally suspend the strike action embarked upon on March 23, 2020, with effect from 12:01 am on Thursday, December 24, 2020.”
While shedding more light on ASUU’s insistence on the implementation of the 2009 agreements, Ogunyemi stated that the objectives of the agreements were found to have been made even more potent by the findings of the Federal Government Committee on the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities in 2012.
He stressed that the agreements, when implemented, would reverse the decay in the Nigerian university system and reposition it for greater responsibilities in national development;
Ogunyemi also stated that the implementation of the agreement would reverse the brain drain in universities and enhance the remuneration of academic staff.
According to him, university lecturers would be freed from “the encumbrances of a unified civil service wage structure.”
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