FG And ASUU Strike Update: ASUU Issues Fresh Ultimatum

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced a potential nationwide strike to protest the absence of governing councils in all federal universities in Nigeria, along with other unresolved issues with the government. ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, stated this during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

ASUU has asked Nigerians to hold the federal government accountable for any actions the union might take in response to the government’s inaction. The federal government dissolved the governing councils of these universities in May last year and has not reinstated them, leading to what ASUU describes as illegalities and violations of university autonomy.

FG And ASUU Strike Update: ASUU Issues Fresh Ultimatum

The union’s decision follows a meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) held at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on May 11th and 12th, 2024. During this meeting, ASUU reviewed the status of its engagements with both federal and state governments, focusing on improving Nigeria’s public universities to compete globally.

The NEC expressed concern over the worsening living and working conditions in universities and the nation. Prof. Osodeke highlighted the government’s unfulfilled promises to address issues that led to the previous nationwide strike from February to October 2022.

ASUU emphasized that negotiated agreements are essential for setting competitive university standards and that salary awards alone are insufficient. The last agreement between ASUU and the federal government was in 2009, and despite ongoing advocacy, meaningful renegotiation only began in 2017.

Regarding the issue of governing councils, the NEC condemned the continued erosion of university autonomy, contrary to the Universities Miscellaneous Act. The illegal dissolution of governing councils has led to unauthorized activities, such as the appointment of vice-chancellors and the mismanagement of university finances.

ASUU also criticized the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), calling it fraudulent and harmful to Nigerian academics. The union condemned the federal and state governments’ failure to address all outstanding issues with ASUU.

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Prof. Osodeke stated that the NEC will reconvene in two weeks to review the situation and decide on further actions if the issues remain unresolved.

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