Fed Govt accuses lecturers of bad faith as ASUU begins strike

University teachers are set for major strike, it was announced yesterday.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said the strike “will be total, comprehensive and indefinite” to press home lecturers’ demand for improved welfare and working conditions.

ASUU National President Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi said the union took the decision after a nationwide consultation with its members at an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) on Sunday.

According to him, there will be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of the union’s branches during the strike.

He said ASUU must make the Federal and state governments to implement the provisions of the 2009 Agreement, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of 2013 and the understanding reached in November 2016 in order to lay the foundation for a university system capable of producing a country of our dream.

The ASUU president also accused the political class of paying lip-service to addressing the rot and decay in Nigeria’s university education.

According to him, Nigeria is beginning to lose the little gains it had achieved through the struggles of the union, labour movement, the media and other patriotic organisations at salvaging the country’s crisis-ridden public universities.

HOWever the Federal Government said yesterday that negotiations were ongoing between it and the union on the issues arising from the 2009 agreement and the MoU of 2013.

Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu, in January inaugurated a 16-member team to renegotiate the 2009 agreement.

The committee, headed by Babalakin, was given the mandate to dialogue with the ASUU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Associated & Allied Institutions (NASU) to ensure sustainable peace and industrial harmony in tertiary institutions.

The ASUU president said the Wale Babalakin-led committee  lacked the powers to resolve the issue as there were unimplemented items in the 2009 agreement.

He said government had ignored the system, stressing that the political class had also shifted attention to sending their wards to private universities and universities abroad, leaving public universities to collapse

The Nation Nigeria

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