Government withholds 5 months salary of striking lecturers
Daily Courier – The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has said it is ready to call off its nationwide industrial action immediately if the Federal Government signs the negotiated agreement.
Daily Courier reports that varsity lectures had on February 14, embarked on a strike to press home its demand, including the government’s investment in the nation’s university infrastructure, and payment of members’ salaries through the recommended University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), among several others.
The union later declared full strike, accusing the Federal Government of insincerity.
In an interview on Channels TV, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke said the union is waiting for a positive response from President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said, “As far as ASUU is concerned, the strike can end tomorrow, we have finished the negotiations, let the government call us this night that we should come tomorrow and sign the agreement, we will be there.
“Let government tell us they have finished testing the UTAS, we have accepted it. By tomorrow, we will call off the strike. We are finished (with negotiations).
“We are just waiting, and challenging the government. When will they sign the agreement, and when will they accept UTAS? Those are the two questions we need to ask the Nigerian government.”
Osodeke said the government has failed to pay the striking lecturers their salaries for the past five months.
ASUU has been at loggerheads with the federal government, citing the refusal of the latter to honour the 2009 agreement it entered with the Union.
The union’s demands include the government’s investment in the nation’s university infrastructure, and payment of members’ salaries through the recommended University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), among several others.
ASUU Strike: lecturers going through tough time
A cross section of lecturers who spoke to our correspondents narrated the biting effect of the ongoing nationwide strike. Prof. Olufemi Akinbiyi of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko has called on the federal government to find a middle way to end the ongoing strike by staff of universities across the country.
The don, who described the strike as detrimental to the future of the youths and development of the country, said the affected students now engaged in immoral activities.
He added that his family have been surviving due to the mercy of God and the support of his wife who is a nurse. He said, “I don’t want to imagine how things would have been because their is a limit to which the support from our cooperative can go.”
Dr Samuel Jackson of the University of Ilorin said: “To continue the strike is harmful not only to the students and youths, but also destructive to the future of the nation”. He noted that while the effect of the strike is biting hard on him and the entire family, it is a little price to pay for the emancipation of the educational sector from the shackles of a visionless political class.
Other lecturers who spoke to our correspondents narrated similar level of inconvenience as the faceoff between the lecturers and the federal government lingers.