Students continue to take the full brunt of the ASUU/FG face-off as varsities nationwide in Nigeria remain closed. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on its own however, decided to pull out of the ongoing negotiations with the FG starting Thursday, 22nd August, 2013.
This is a sad UPDATE on the lingering 2013 ASUU Strike - ASUU has pulled out of negotiations with the Federal Government. Following this development, if you had hitherto believed that the ongoing ASUU strike will come to an end soon, you may begin to have a rethink. From all indications, this will likely not be and the strike may not be coming to an end anytime soon.
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The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday announced its disengagement from further negotiations with the Federal Government, over what it describes as the latter’s perceived insincerity in the 2009 agreement as well as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) both parties signed in January last year.
Related News: ASUU Gives Reasons Why Strike Must Continue
The union National President, Dr. Nassir Faggae Isa, said at a press briefing held at the University of Lagos on Thursday that the 2009 agreement and the MoU must first be honoured, even if ASUU feels the need to consider renegotiation with the government.
The union had embarked on a total strike on July 2 over government‘s failure to honour the 2009 agreement.
Faggae said, “Consequently, our members are left with no other choice than to prosecute this strike to its logical conclusion. ASUU members nationwide are saying this striker will not be suspended until and unless the government respects the 2009 agreement and makes concrete efforts to implement it in the best interest of the country.”
According to him, during a meeting held between ASUU and the government representative on Monday, government declared that it neither had any motive to revitalize public universities through committed funding, nor was it ready to pay in full the accumulated Earned Academic Allowances between 2009 and 2013.
ASUU insists on strike as FG releases N130bnMeanwhile, in a related development, the Federal Government has agreed to inject about N130bn into the university system to shore up infrastructure and support the settlement of lecturers’ earned allowance.
This came as the striking lecturers insisted that the industrial action would continue.
Representatives of the government and the striking university teachers met on Monday (19th August, 2013) in Abuja where issues on the strike topped the agenda of the meeting.
Although the Federal Government agreed to release the funds, the Academic Staff Union of Universities insisted that the offer did not meet the union’s funding requirement.
The leader of the government negotiation team and Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, made this known to journalists on Monday after a meeting with the ASUU leadership in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
According to him, the Federal Government has sourced N100bn to boost infrastructure development in the nation’s universities.
He said, “The Federal Government has been able to harness about N100bn which Mr. President has agreed to approve from the first week of September.
“The infrastructure deficit in hostels, laboratories and libraries will be addressed. Some will be renovated while others will be constructed. Every university will be affected and each of the hostels will accommodate 1,200 students.”
Senator Anyim urge ASUU to return to workAlso, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Pius Anyim, said all issues had been resolved except the unpaid allowances.
Anyim said the Federal Government had agreed to release N30bn to be paid according to the verifiable claims by the governing councils of each of the universities.
The President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagge, stated that the union would meet to take decision over the new development.
He said, “If you remember the objective of going on this strike is to get government to implement the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement and particularly to implement the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding we reached with the government in 2012.
“I want to say that at today’s meeting, we looked at all the issues in that MoU and it is clear to us that the Governor Suswam Committee that is working on the funding requirement for revitalising the university system, particularly on the implementation of the needs Assessment report, it has not really gone far in that aspect.”
Source: ThisDayOnline and The Punch