There is every possibility according to a reliable source that the just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has confided in to our news room that the union resolved to embark on one-month “comprehensive and total” strike to compel the Nigerian government to acede its requests.
According to the source, who was part of the meeting, the union took the decision “reluctantly” despite interventions by many prominent Nigerians.
He said the decision was to save Nigeria’s university system considering what he described as the deteriorating state of Nigerian universities. He said government’s alleged recalcitrance made the position unavoidable.
“The indefinite and total strike is for four weeks . We hope govt would do the needful within the next four weeks,” the source said in a terse statement shared with our reporter on Monday morning.
It was reported on Sunday night that ASUU had scheduled a meeting it tagged “NEC for NEC” for midnight on Sunday to take the final decision on behalf of the various congresses of its chapters.
The meeting was a follow-up to the then ongoing two-day marathon meeting which had kicked off on Saturday at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka.
ASUU rounded off its “NEC for NEC” meeting at about 3 a.m on Monday when the branch chairman of the union in UNILAG, Dele Ashiru, confirmed that the national President, Emmanuel Osodeke, would address the media by 9 a.m. on Monday.
Mr Ashiru, whose note was tagged; “ASUU Press conference,” said he was inviting journalists on behalf of the national leadership of the union.
The note reads in part; “Dear colleague, good morning Ma\Sir. Pls ASUU’s NEC media briefing now to hold as follows; Date: MONDAY, Feb 14; Time: 9.00am; Venue… Tayo Aderinokun Auditorium, Behind Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.”
Mr Ashiru, however, did not hint of the union’s final decision as he refused to pick follow-up calls from our reporter.
The demands of the lecturers’ union have barely changed since the signing of the ASUU/FG 2009 agreement.
These demands include the sustainability of the university autonomy, which the union said the introduction of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) for the payment of its emoluments violates. The union seeks its replacement with its own University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
Other demands include the endorsement of the renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, which it said was concluded in May, 2021; release of the reports of visitation panels to federal universities and distortions in salary payment challenges.
ASUU also demands funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowance, improved funding of state universities and promotion arrears.