June 17, 2024

NIGERIA Global News

57 Long Days of ASUU Strike and Government’s Lackadaisical Management; Union Urges Nigerians To Rescue the Dying University System


On the 14th of February 2022, the Academic staff university union (ASUU) again declared its trademark strike as a defensive mechanism against the Nigerian government’s monotonous unruly, untrustworthy and constant breach of the agreement.


The strike was initially supposed to be for a period of four (4) weeks which was later extended for another 8 weeks since the government wouldn’t budge. Consequently forcing Nigeria Public University students to sit at home as all academic activities have been put to a temporary halt.


The Academic Staff University Union (ASUU) through Prof. Fred Esumeh, the Zonal Coordinator, ASUU-Benin Zone, during a media meeting at the ASUU Secretariat in the University of Benin, Edo state, pleaded with Nigerians yesterday to join the union in her bid to rescue the fading University System.


Prof. Esumeh also called on all progressive-minded Nigerians to wake up and join the union in rescuing the country’s educational sector. He admonished the public to place the universities in the ranks of the global class, equipped with the full potential to produce the manpower required as a catalyst in the further advancement of technology and economic power of the world.


He said, “We call on all well-meaning Nigerians, students, workers, civil society organizations to wake up and join ASUU to salvage what remains of the country by repositioning the Universities globally competitive and able to produce the manpower required to jump-start the re-emergence as a globally technological and economic power.


“On the 14th of February 2022, ASUU, after more than a calendar year of exploring all available and legitimate means in its efforts compel the Federal government of Nigeria to honor the terms of the memorandum of Action it signed with the union on December 2020, was left with no option, other than to declare a four-week roll overstrike.


“At the expiration of the four weeks when the government created the impression that it required more time to address the issues at stake, ASUU rolled over the strike for another eight weeks to provide the Federal government with more than sufficient time to comprehensively sort out the patriotic demand by the union.


“The representatives of government continue to toy with the future of our children, students, and nation, such that 57 days after they were sent packing from the institutions, the resolution of the principal outstanding issues of the deployment of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the signing and implementation and the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement remains at the level of mere proposals, fruitless and empty assurances.


“Yet these are issues that could have been adequately resolved in weeks by any well-meaning and serious-minded government,” Esumeh stated.


This is coming after the Minister of Labor and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said although the Federal government supports the renegotiation of the welfare package for university staff in line with the current state of things, it is greatly unhappy with the antics of the Academic Staff Universities union (ASUU) in getting what they want.


The current strike has been met with mixed reactions by affected students who are increasingly frustrated about the way their educational lives are being handled by stakeholders.


The uncertainty around Nigerian students graduating at a stipulated time upon gaining admission into a Nigeria Public University is huge. Hence students prefer to travel abroad or pay very high to go to private universities.


Relatively, ASUU yesterday condemned the allegedly reckless comments of the Minister of State For Education Emeka Nwajiuba, who said that the Union was mean and wicked for shutting down Universities.


The Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter of the union, Prof. Ayo Akinwole,  yesterday in Ibadan said the lecturers in the country had sacrificed their labor, sweat, and health only for parasites in the government to come and destroy common heritage and collective patrimony. He also alluded that the Minister represents one of the deceptive and insincere characters of the Buhari’s administration.


In his words, “ASUU has become very tolerant and endured suffering for the sakes of students and Nigeria. We have shown understanding but this government has even failed to deliver on the timeline agreement we signed with this government. Nwajiuba’s claim is deceptive and unfounded.


“This is a deceptive government. They have set up up to 40 committees on our renegotiation since 2017 and the same government is now setting up another committee to look into what those ones did for almost four years? They are unserious, wicked, and parasitic leaders”.


The state of education in Nigeria is appalling as students are forced away from learning activities and the environment. This trend has undoubtedly reduced the readiness of many Nigerian students to advance their quest for knowledge.


The incessant strikes that have rocked this educational sector over years have only increased the number of Idle youths, who consequently resort to other crime-related activities, thus increasing crime rates in Nigeria.


Stakeholders, educational practitioners, and investors need to sit for new strategies and implementation tactics to get things done as opposed to the strikes that only affect the students more than other affected individuals, organizations, or societies.



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