Contrary to allegations levelled against the federal government by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has said the government has met all the Union’s demands.
Nwajiuba made the assertion while replying Journalists’ questions in Abuja after the commemoration of the Commonwealth Day.
TheFact Nigeria recalled that the Federal Government had last week Monday inaugurated a 7-man committee to renegotiate the agreement it had with ASUU in 2009.
In a recent development however, ASUU released an official statement extending its strike action by 2months.
According to the statement signed by its President, Emmanuel Osodeke on March 13, 2022, ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC) held an emergency meeting to review developments since the Union declared a four weeks total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its NEC meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos on 12th – 13th February, 2022.
It said the strike action came on the heels of Government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the Union in December 2020 on funding for revitalization of public universities (both Federal and States), renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Earned Academic Allowances, State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries, and non-remittance of third-party deductions.
It added that after interactive meetings with agents of government in the last four weeks that the strike action had lasted, NEC was disappointed that Government did not treat the matters involved with the utmost urgency they deserved during the four-week period as expected of a reasonable, responsive, and well-meaning administration.
Osodeke said NEC viewed Government’s response, so far, as a continuation of the unconscionable, mindless, and nonchalant attitude of the Nigerian ruling elite towards the proven path of national development which is education.
Giving reasons for the strike extension, he said:” NEC, having taken reports on the engagements of the Trustees and Principal Officers with the Government, concluded that Government had failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 PGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the four-week roll-over strike period and resolved that the strike be rolled over for another eight (8) weeks to give Government more time to address all the issues in concrete terms so that our students will resume as soon as possible. The roll-over strike shall commence by 12.00am on Monday, 14th March, 2022″, he said.
Nwajiuba however, emphasized that all earned allowances as well as revitalisation funds have been released.
He said: “ASUU and government met, and we’ve agreed on everything.
“So, if they choose to extend it for two months, maybe we’ve announced already, everything that they said we should do, we’ve done all of them”, he said.