Nigerian News

2009 Agreement: ASUU slaps 14-day ultimatum on FG

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Uyo branch, on Wednesday, issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to honour the 2009 renegotiated agreement it had with the union or risk industrial action.

In a public sensitization protest on Wednesday at the University of Uyo town campus, the Chairperson of ASUU, Prof Opeyemi Olajide, recalled that in 2022, public universities embarked on eight months strike over the outstanding issues and had to come back to classrooms in obedience to the rule of law.

He expressed regrets that two years after, the Federal Government is not willing to honour the agreement and attend to their demands.

The chairperson explained that the union reached out to relevant authorities to intervene and make government do the needful to avert any disruption to academic activities, but, there was no positive result stressing that if after two weeks nothing was done, the union will shut down the universities and send the students home.

He said, “In year 2022, ASUU was on strike for eight months, public universities in Nigeria were shut down, students were sent home because federal government of Nigeria refused to address ASUU demands as contained in renegotiated 2009 agreement which Academic Staff Unions of Nigerian Universities had with them.

“ASUU suspended the strike because our union is very civil, law abiding and has respect for rule of law. This is two years after, the Federal Government has refused to sign that agreement with our union.

“We are telling government and the public that if in the next two weeks nothing is done, ASUU is going to embark on yet another strike and students will be sent home.”

The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Calabar Zone, Dr Happiness Uduk, addressing the protest, disclosed that the Federal Government still owe lecturers in public schools three and half months salary.

She noted that public universities are not functional as expected when compared with the private universities urging the Federal Government to make deliberate efforts to resuscitate public educational system.

“Enough is enough! the government is not taking care of public institutions yet they are establishing their own private universities where they are taking our resources to, where they are taking our tax payers monies to.

“Federal Government has about two weeks to do something and if not so, ASUU will down tools, that is what we want to tell people that it is not well with us.

“The Federal Government has not treated us well and to say the least, we are very hungry, whatever we are getting is not taking us home, we are requesting government to pay us what they owe us, we are calling on government to make the university system functional, we are asking government to pay us our EAA, they should carter for universities they brought and not to bring up more universities without taking care of them.”

On his part, the former Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof Aniekan Brown, said the union over the years had been clamouring for “education for all”.

He noted that the workload of lecturers is not commensurate with their pay and called for salary increments.

Brown lamented that despite the meager and static salaries, the rate of taxation by the Federal Government was unbearable as a lecturer pays up to 90 percent of his/her salary as tax.

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