Nigerian Universities Threatens Strike- ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Thursday 22 February said a strike looms in the country’s universities as university lecturers have been on the same salary structure since 2009 despite the harsh socio-economic realities in the country.

The Coordinator, of Benin Zone of ASUU, Professor Monday 19 February Igbafen stated this at a press conference held in Benin City.

He also complained about the proliferation of Universities by both the federal and the state governments yet without adequate provisions in terms of funding.

Prof. Igbafen said state governments within the Benin Zone like Edo and Ondo states are also part of those underfunding universities. He said the government has failed in all its agreements with the union to make life good for lecturers.

In his words “Gentlemen of the Press, you are not unaware that the government had been foot dragging on the need to conclude and sign the renegotiated 2009 Agreement which commenced in 2017.

“Recall the Renegotiation with Nimi Briggs’ Committee which was completed within six months and the truncation of its process of signing by the then Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige. It is disturbing that from 2021 till date, the document has remained in its draft form and the most obvious implication of the truncation of the renegotiation of 2009 Agreement is that university teachers in Nigeria have been on the same salary regime since 2009 when the value of Naira to a dollar was N120. We all are aware of the sorry value of the naira just now as it is readily/steadily climbing to N 2, 000 to a dollar.

“Let it be noted again and again that the 2009 Agreement was meant to kick-start the reversal of the decay in Nigerian public universities. Government has up till date neglected and refused its conclusive renegotiation and speedy implementation of the Agreement to stem the worsening living and working conditions in Nigerian public universities. This failure is no doubt a direct invitation to crisis.

“The suffocating situation in public universities can no longer be tolerated and allowed to continue. Let the patriots in the media, labour movement, student groups and civil society organizations rise in support of the looming struggle to ensure that Government does the needful to restore the Nigerian university system once and for all.”

Source: Vanguard

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