ASUU Strike: Hope Rises For Nigerian Students

ASUU Strike: Hope Rises For Nigerian Students

asuu vows not to back down
  •  Buhari Says Enough Is Enough, Urges ASUU To Reconsider
  • Future Of Nigeria Depends On Quality Of Educational Institutions

There is hope on the horizon for millions of Nigerian students who have been idling at home over the protracted industrial action embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).




President Muhammadu Buhari has called for an end to the protracted strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) saying that enough is enough.


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It would be recalled that ASUU had been on strike since February 14, 2022, over a number of issues.




However, President Buhari on Monday called on ASUU to reconsider their position on the continued strike, expressing worry that the hiatus will have generational consequences on families, the educational system and the future development of the country.




The President, who stated this when he received some governors of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), legislators and political leaders at his residence, said the strike had already taken a toll on the psychology of parents, students and other stakeholders, throwing up many moral issues that are already begging for attention.




President Buhari noted that the future of the country rests on the quality of educational institutions and education while assuring that the government understands their position, and negotiations should continue, with students in lecture halls.




“We hope that ASUU will sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike. Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness’ sake,” he said.




The president called on all well-meaning Nigerians, particularly those close to the leaders and members of the association, to intervene in persuading the lecturers to reconsider their position and the ripple effect on an entire generation and the nation.




President Buhari said students from Nigerian universities will be faced with the challenge of competing with others in a highly connected and technology-driven workspace, and keeping them at home only deprives them of time, skill and opportunities to be relevant on the global stage.




“Colonial type education was geared towards producing workers in government. Those jobs are no longer there. Our young people should get an education to prepare them for self-employment. Now education is for the sake of education.




“Through technology, we are much more efficient. We should encourage our children to get an education, not only to look for government jobs,” he added.




President Buhari said resources should be channelled more into building infrastructure and operations of the health and educational sector, not to expand the bureaucracy to create job opportunities.




“By this time next year, I would have made the most out of the two terms, and in the remaining months I will do my best,” the President noted.




Earlier, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had disclosed that the Federal Government has been meeting with ASUU over its lingering strike and assured Nigerians that the dispute with the lecturers will be resolved soon.




According to him, contrary to insinuations that the government was not engaging with ASUU, there have been a series of meetings between all parties, and the next one is scheduled for Thursday to resolve the face-off.




“As the issue is bordered on money, remunerations, welfare, we did another conciliation meeting inviting the ministry of finance, budget office of the federation, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and again, with their employers on the 1st of March,” Ngige added.




“After that, it became clear that two cardinal things were still keen — the issue of renegotiation of their welfare package as in the 2009 agreement; that agreement says you can review every five years, so, that issue stuck out like a sore thumb.




“Then another issue arose in that agreement — the payment platform of university transparency, accountability solution, which they say they’ve invented. They said they don’t want to be on IPPIS; that IPPIS was amputating their salaries and taking off certain allowances, and so, that it is not capturing their peculiarities.




“So, we now have to ask them to go back to these places, form committees with them. Education took them on the issue of the 2009 agreement, which is the renegotiation of their conditions of service, emolument, their remuneration allowances. Therefore, salaries, income and wages, and the ministry of finance that produce the money are involved. So, they went back.”




The former governor also dismissed talks that the Federal Government has a different payment table for trade unions in tertiary institutions. Ngige noted that it might be impossible to raise the payment table because other unions, even in the health sector, might kick.




He said although the Government is not afraid of handling the situation, it has to operate within the available resources.




The Labour Minister also promised that the 13-year-old ASUU challenge involving a 2009 negotiation agreement and payment platform issues are being renegotiated and will be resolved before the end of the current administration.




Ngige’s remark is the latest from the Federal Government since the face-off with the university lecturers who had embarked on strike since February 14.




The public university teachers are seeking improved funding for the government-owned institution, and the adoption of its University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform among others.




Several meetings between the Federal Government and the union in the past months have yielded little results. Students across the country had earlier protested against the lingering industrial action while shutting down major roads in Nigeria.

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