The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has urged the Buhari led-administration to learn from former President Goodluck Jonathan on how to resolve the lingering strike.
This is as the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU commences its make or mar meeting on Sunday night/Monday morning to decide on whether the union will continue its 6-month strike or not.
The advice was given by Osodeke while appearing on an AIT programme, Focus Nigeria, where he said that the Goodluck administration engaged the union in a 14-hour negotiation to resolve the issue.
Ososdeke said the federal government should set up a committee comprising people who love the country and can negotiate dispassionately.
What the ASUU President is saying
Osodeke said, “Government should for once go the way of Goodluck Jonathan. And in one night, we had that meeting for 14 hours. Open. Both sides were open, no class, no power, no sitting power, and we looked at all the issues and we resolved it within 14 hours.
“If this government can put out a strong team, if the president cannot be there, let him put a strong team together or people who are not part of those who are telling lies presently. People who love this country. They don’t have to be in government. If you can put this thing together and we meet to look at how we can resolve this national problem.”
Meanwhile, the crucial NEC meeting of ASUU is currently going on after the union’s branches have held their congresses during the week, with majority of them voting for a rollover or an indefinite strike.
What you should know
- The strike by ASUU has entered its 195th day on Sunday as ASUU appears not to want to back down until its demand are met.
- The union had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.
- Some of the lecturers’ demands include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, which amounts to N1.1 trillion, payment of earned academic allowances, and adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option, instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and payment of promotion arrears.
- Others are the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement and the resolution of inconsistencies in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
- The Federal Government’s Briggs renegotiation committee, had since April 2022, been meeting with ASUU and other labour unions in the universities, who went on strike due to its dispute with the government and non-resolution of demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the federal government.
- After further extensions of the industrial action, ASUU remained adamant in its resolve to press on with its demand as it once again on August 1 extended its ongoing strike by another 4 weeks to give the Federal Government more time to resolve outstanding issues in its dispute with it.
- Minister of Education Adamu Adamu had earlier said that the insistence of ASUU on the payment of the withheld salaries was stalling negotiations by the parties.
- He added that the government had met all the demands of ASUU, except the payment of 6 months’ salary arrears which President Muhammadu Buhari rejected when a proposal to the effect was presented to him
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