The Academy Staff Union of University (ASUU) came into being a Nigerian union of university academic staff in 1978 under the freedom of the Nigerian Association of University Teachers (NAUT). This body was founded in 1965, and was primarily interested in the welfare of the workers with special circumstances and conditions to provide some kind of fundamental policing within the mini State Circle. It was much like reliving university like University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, etc.
ASUU, however, is a trade union whose principal assignment is to regulate undertaking or relative treatment of conditions between academic staff and employers having the same code of limit and bearing, as well as a way of managing the university system towards falling from socio-economic and cultural start-up for intelligent coordinated action. Its first industrial action was in 1988.
Governance is continuity. And it is possible that what things were left unattended to by the past government must be taken care of by yet another government. The point here is that this current government, at the federal level, which is the level that matters to people, is fairly intractable in nature and has basically restricted its main duty of developing a wider care for education in the country.
In 1980, ASUU declared a Trade Dispute (TD) and made the issue of university autonomy an issue in dispute, following the failure of salaries, freedom of education, funding, etc. After this, there was an unpromising emolument again in 1992. You remember? It was under the Shagari regime.
Currently, ASUU is on the verge of prolonging its strike, after having gone on a month and two-month rolling strike simultaneously. This is because the federal government had shown no readiness to fulfill the draft renegotiated 2009 agreement and deployment of the home-grown payment platform (UTAS) instead of the cooked IPPIS.
Who’s to blame for keeping the students hopelessly at homes; the federal government or ASUU?
Of course, yes. Both are responsible for the outage. Federal government has a lion’s share of the blame; however, it is the bitter truth. No one disagrees with this, except an enemy of education.
A recent noticeable trend in the education sector, especially university education is the negligence of the government not paying attention to its jobs. Unfortunately, many of the so called government officials have their children schooling abroad.
Meanwhile, their priority is not even education. Anyone from among them who acquires money through whatever means — any means at all — is after himself and, getting it on the course of his family members alone.
Remember, the government is the one owing ASUU not ASUU owing the federal government. Now, it is much more than the amount it would have been easily paid. Other parts of the demands necessitate dialogue. And that depends on how well the government can convince ASUU so that the strike actions won’t drag on for over more rolling days.
According to ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the constant measure to the open-ended strike reads:
– “that government should take only two N200b from the N4 trillion budgets for fuel subsidy to supplement the infrastructure want of Nigerian Universities,
– that government should remove the confused (IPPIS) and replace it with (UTAS);
– that such huge resources or monies sprayed on IPPIS should and/or ought to serve the Nigerian Universities.”
So, it is important for the federal government to now amplify quick fix i.e try to carry full engagement either by paying that whole N200b directly to the payment platform of the University lecturers, UTAS; or by implementing half of the demands of ASUU which its capacity is able to fulfill with initial agreement, legitimately.
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