Views: 119 Posts: 0 Started By: Lil_prince Last Poster: Lil_prince Last Post Date: Sep 03, 2016
September 3, 2016 ( Post 1 )

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, has said government is not aware of the grounds for the planned strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

A statement by the ministry on Friday said ASUU had not officially communicated such decision.

The terse statement added: “When we do so, we shall look into the matter, the ground of agitation by ASUU, this will include of course dialoguing with both parties; we are conciliators and be rest assured we are working relentlessly to ensure industrial harmony.”

The ASUU had earlier in the week threatened to embark on a nationwide strike to press home its demands for the implementation of its 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.

The coordinator of the union in Lagos, Prof. Olusoji Sowande, made this known at a press conference on Tuesday, stating that the government had shown that the only language it understands is industrial action.‎

He recalled that the union had embarked on strike in 2012 and 2013 as part of the efforts to make the government implement the agreement, but the issues remained unresolved.

According to the don, “The review of the agreement should have been undertaken in 2012 and 2015 but that did not happen.‎

“The implication is that our union has shown enough patriotism and understanding on these matters in the last four years.

“We are perplexed and disappointed that both the Federal and State Governments are not responding to our consistent appeals to bring about genuine transformation in the education sector.” ‎

Sowande explained that embarking on strike had never been a favourable choice as the Students and ASUU members had always suffered the pains more, lamenting that “It is unfortunate that the only language government appears to respect and listens to is that of industrial action like strike.”

The ASUU coordinator stated that based on MoU signed in November 2013, “Nigerian universities requires N1.3 trillion to revitalise the system’’ and that the government was already in arrears of N605 billion as at the third quarter of 2016.

He said that the government had refused to release N128 billion and N250 billion respectively for the earned academic allowance of three years after the MoU was signed.‎

According to him, “In order to forestall this avoidable crisis, we appeal to all genuinely progressive individuals and groups to prevail on both the Federal and State Governments to commence release of funds for the listed purposes.

“This is to arrest the brewing and potentially combustible situation in the Nigerian university system before it degenerated into a serious conflagration.

“The review of the agreement should have been undertaken in 2012 and 2015 but that did not happen,” Sowande said.

“The implication is that our union has shown enough patriotism and understanding on these matters in the last four years.

“We are perplexed and disappointed that both the federal and state governments are not responding to our consistent appeals to bring about genuine transformation in the education sector.

“It is unfortunate that the only language government appears to respect and listen to is that of industrial action.”


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