Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, has stated that the union will meet with the Federal Government today to discuss its ongoing 183 days strike action.
On Channels Television’s Politics on Monday, Osodeke stated that the union was prepared to put off the 183 days strike provided the Federal Government agreed to its requests at today’s meeting.
“If we go into that conference tomorrow and the government says, what you’ve negotiated for, we’re prepared to sign,” he continued, “the strike will be called off.”
Remember that since the conclusion of the renegotiation meeting headed by Prof. Nimi Briggs, the government has made no effort to consult with the union’s executives.
After the submission of the ASUU report by the Briggs committee, the president gave the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu a two-week ultimatum to address the demands of ASUU.
However, the two weeks elapsed three weeks ago, yet, nothing was done to forestall an extension of the strike by one month strike, which started on August 1, 2022.
ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.
On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.
Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met.
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The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The agreement was struck in 2009.
Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).