ASUU Strike Continues As Lecturers Reject Govt’s Offer
The hope of students to resume academic activities across Nigeria’s Universities may have been dashed after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) stated that it has rejected the offers made to it early this week by the Nigerian government.
This is barely days after the union and the federal government reached an agreement that attempts to end the ongoing strike.
The rejection means the strike continues.
At the last meeting with the leadership of ASUU on Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had said the labour dispute with the university teachers will soon be resolved. He listed the fresh concessions made by the administration to ASUU.
Ngige said the accountant general and the ministry of finance have confirmed with evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to cover funding in public universities.
On earned allowances, Mr Ngige said President Buhari has approved N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 to 2012 audit verified earnings in the universities.
He said the earned allowances will be released to ASUU as soon as the process is completed.
However, in a chat with Premium Times in the early hours of Saturday morning, the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said upon reviewing the offers made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.
His Words: “Our members have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They are insisting that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.
“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.
“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action.”