ASUU, an unpopular Union among Nigerian students has been tagged as one of
the cog in academic activities due to their frequent strike actions across Nigerian Universities.
The University Staffs Union has decided to embark on a week warning strike to protest against the governments unfulfillment of 2009 MoU between them and the government.
The President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has described the planned nationwide strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as unconstitutional.
The union had last Monday issued an ultimatum to the federal government to fulfill the agreement it reached with it in 2009 or face a one-week warning strike.
FG said ASUU must exhaust all the necessary mechanisms required before
a strike could be embarked upon.
In a statement released the minister of labour and employment, Senator
Chris Ngige, said “to rescind its decision on the strike so as to give
the government an opportunity to discuss the all contending issues
arising from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) it reached with
“In view of the prevailing circumstances, the issuance of warning
strike by ASUU was unconstitutional as the body was yet to exhaust the
conflict resolution mechanisms clearly mapped out in the labour laws.
“The claims of nationwide consultations by ASUU cannot be true as the
Ministry of Labour and Employment which is the chief conciliator of
industrial relations disputes is yet to receive a direct petition from
ASUU against the federal government who is the jurisdictional
employer,” the minister stated
The minister “appealed to ASUU to give the present administration the
opportunity to fully address its grievances which stemmed from the
inactions of the past administration.”
But the Nigerian Senate has waded into the rift between the federal
government and ASUU.
Senate Committee Chairman on Tertiary Education, Senator Jibril Barau,
drew the attention of the parliament to the threat of warning strike
by ASUU. He argued that fulfilling the agreement it reached with ASUU
in 2009 was necessary for the well being and development of the
Nigerian public universities and warned of the consequences of failing
to respond to ASUU threat.
“The ASUU is insisting that if the Federal Government of Nigeria
continues to fail to implement their aforesaid agreements as well as
made certain key necessities, the public shall continue to be
incapacitated in carrying out their functions as centre for knowledge
acquisition, research and community service in citadel of learning.
“The Senate further notes that there are six vital issues whose
continued pendency before the federal government and ASUU are creating
discontent among members of the union and they have therefore been
calling for the intervention of stakeholders to prevent the breakdown
in the university system nationwide.
“The Senate is further concerned that one of the six issues in
contention is the introduction of the single treasury account (TSA)
system in the universities which is believed by ASUU to be hampering
the smooth running operations of public universities,”Jibril said.
The Senate therefore called “on the executive arm of government to
engage the ASUU in first talks to proffer solutions on how best to
implement all the agreements that both bodies entered into since 2009
and implementation of key necessities that are vital for the
well-being and development of our universities as canvassed by ASUU.
The parliament also resolved that whatever“was agreed to be paid by
lecturers and other actions to be taken as a result of prayer one
above should be captured in the 2017 budget for prompt
It also commended“ASUU for choosing the path of dialogue rather than
confrontation as a means of resolving all the outstanding issues
between it and the federal government and to urge the union not to
relent in its approach of dialogue.”
In his remark, Saraki said preventing the strike was imperative“in the
interest of the people that we represent and to ensure that we must
find a way of seeing the implementation of this agreement, which is
over eight years now”promising urging“the relevant parties to quickly
come to the table so that we can find a way of moving forward and
report back to us.”