By Rita Esegine
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended the four weeks strike it started on February 13, 2020 by 8 weeks starting from today, Monday 14 March.
In a statement signed by its President, Emmanuel Osodeke, and made available to journalists, ASUU said; “NEC, having taken reports on the engagement of the Trustees and Principal Officers with the Government, concluded that Government had failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the four-week roll-over strike petiod and resolved that the strike be rolled over to: another eight (8) weeks to give Government more time to address all the issues in concrete terms so that our students will resume as soon as possible. The roll-ovet strike shall commence by 12.01am on Monday, 14th March, 2022.”
The statement which contains ASUU key points of deliberation at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Sunday 12 March, 2022 in Abuja, in part said; “The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held an emergency meeting on Sunday, 13th March 2022 at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja.
“The meeting was called to review developments since the Union declared a four weeks total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its NEC meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos on 12″1-13th February, 2022. The strike action came on the heels of Government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the Union in December 2020 on funding for revitalization of public universities (both Federal and States), renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Earned Academic Allowances, State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries, and non-remittance of third-party deductions.
“NEC noted that the Union’s leadership has held some interactive meetings with agents of government in the last four weeks that the strike action had lasted. However, NEC was disappointed that Government did not treat the matters involved with utmost urgency they deserved during the four-week period as expected of a reasonable, responsive, and well-meaning administration.
“NEC viewed Government’s response, so far, as a continuation of the unconscionable, mindless, and nonchalant attitude of the N igerian ruling elite towards the proven path of national development which is education.
“NEC acknowledged the Intervention efforts, in vuious ways, by patriots and friends of genuine national development (students, parents, joumahsta, trade union leaders, civil society activists etc.) to expeditiously resolve the crisis which Government’s disposition had allowed to tester. However, ASUU, as a union of intellectunh, has historic obligations to make govemments honour agreements.”