FG Meets With ASUU Over Planned Strike, Optimistic Of Resolution

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ASUU declares lecture-free day in Abakaliki on Wednesday, threatens indefinite strike
ASUU declares lecture-free day in Abakaliki on Wednesday, threatens indefinite strike

The Federal Government has commenced negotiations with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as part of efforts to avert a proposed strike by the union.

Speaking at the end of the meeting which was held behind closed doors at the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman expressed optimism that all issues raised will be amicably resolved.

The President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodoke, on his part said the proposed strike by the union can be averted if words are matched with action.

Last week, the ASUU Gashua branch in Yobe State, asked the Federal Government to address the lingering issues affecting universities to avoid another disruption of academic activities on campuses.

The Chairman of the branch, Melemi Abatcha, during a press briefing at Damaturu the state capital on Thursday outlined funding for the revitalisation of Nigerian public universities, and the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement as the major issues plaguing the educational sector.

“Funding for the revitalisation of Nigeria public universities i.e. improved infrastructure, conducive teaching/learning environments, students and staff accommodation, equipping of laboratories and libraries.  Consequently, the Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities have remained on the same salary structure since 2009.

“Even with the directive of Federal Executive Council (FEC) for removal of ASUU from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform since December 2023 till now, ASUU members are still being paid via the obnoxious platform (IPPIS),” he said in a statement.

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Among other issues highlighted include university autonomy, the proliferation of public universities, the backlog of earning academic allowances amounting to N50bn, and the withheld three-and-a-half months’ salaries of its members across the country.

In an attempt to forestall an industrial action by ASUU, The Nigeria Union of Journalists has appealed to President Bola Tinubu, to urgently address the pending issue with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, before it snowballs into another major crisis.

Its President, Chris Iziguso, issued a 17-paragraph communique stating its demands and recommendations.

The union noted that it was important for the government, to look into the recommendation of joint labour on the issue of the minimum wage, and also address the agitations of ASUU to avoid another crisis in the academic sector.

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