The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that its industrial action will continue until the federal government fully implements all the offers it made to the union after their last meeting.
This was stated in Lagos on Thursday, January 10, by the national president of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, Punch reports.
The union lamented what it called federal government’s antics of making unfulfilled promises, saying the strike would be called off after receiving evidence that offers made to them by the federal government have been implemented.
Fielding question on when the strike would be called off, Ogunyemi said:
“Our members said they want to see evidence of satisfactory implementation of all they have proposed before the strike can be called off.”
According to Ogunyemi, in 2018 the federal government promised to release funds for the revitalisation of public universities, which was one of the demands of the union, but failed to do so.
“As for the proposal, it can be disaggregated. There are items there that require implementation. If they are setting up a committee on state universities, and they actually do, it is not something we need to agree on. It is about action.
“If they have implemented it, it is off the list. If the government says it will pay a shortfall of salaries on a certain date, and the date comes and they release the money, it is also implementation. There is no agreement on the matter.
“On the revitalisation fund, we presented to the government that five tranches of N220bn each were outstanding. The government has not said it will release one, even if it is spread over a period of one year. There is no agreement on that. What they are offering is not even up to one tranche.
“Last year, they promised to release the fund but they did not till November when the strike began. Long story short, our members are saying they do not want promises again, what they want is action, implementation or disbursement of funds. The government must act in a way to convince the union that agreement has not been set aside; to show that government has not set aside the agreement, they should release one tranche.
“We are going to have a discussion on when to commence renegotiation because there are still grey areas. If the government can substantially address these issues, we will be more confident to face our members on the way forward. For now, the feeler we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.
“They said they would pay the shortfall of salary arrears of what was removed from workers’ salaries. There are 20 universities identified. The money will be available by January 18. It is around the corner and we will see if it will come.”
The union said federal government’s proposal was far below its expectations and asked its members to await further developments on the strike.