FG/ASUU agreement: Lecturers begin warning strike Wednesday

THE leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday directed its members to commence a one week warning strike effective from Wednesday over failure by the Federal Government to implement the 2009 Agreement reached with the union.

President of ASUU, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, who spoke while addressing newsmen at the University of Abuja, said the lecturers were concerned that even Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2013 to end the then prolonged strike had been implemented.

He said the Union had given the current administration enough time to commence implementation of some aspects of the agreement but nothing has been done.

According him, following a nationwide consultation with members, ASUU National Executive Council (NEC) has resolved to embark on a one week warning strike from Wednesday November16.

He said the introduction of the Single Treasury Account (TSA) has adversely affected the smooth running of the universities.

He also noted that ASUU has consistently called on the Federal Government to begin renegotiation of the 2009 and that no efforts had been shown by the government in this regard.

He said: “Many aspects of the 2013 MoU and the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government have either been unimplemented or despairingly handled.

“The agreements are: Payments of staff entitlements since December 2015, funding of universities for revitalisation, pension, TSA and university autonomy and renegotiation of 2009 Agreement.

“Failure by the Federal Government to implement this agreement has put ASUU leadership in severe difficulty, responding to inquiries from members of the union about the state of our agreement,” Ogunyemi said.

He added that during the warning strike, there would be no teaching, examination and no attendance at statutory meetings in all branches.

Ogunyemi further called on stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to address the patriotic demands of ASUU until the Nigerian university system is repositioned.

He said: “With the release of the 2016 Annual Budget, our union wondered aloud why allocation to education dropped from 11 per cent in 2015 to eight per cent in 2016.

“With the introduction of TSA, the federal universities find it extremely difficult to discharge their core responsibilities of teaching, research and community services.

“We tried to correct the erroneous impression in government circles that the capital and research grants to universities were being handled by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund),” he said.

Meanwhile, a source at the Federal Ministry of Education, said government would meet with the union to prevail on them not to throw the nation’s universities into another crisis as efforts were being made to address their demands.