Five months after, looks like Christmas might be coming early for students in Federal (and a few state) universities all over the country as more units of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, including the University of Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello University chapters, have voted for the suspension of the strike by the union during chapter congresses held nationwide.
This is following the Federal Government’s promise to inject N220bn every year into the public universities for the next five years. This was one of the agreements from the marathon reconciliatory session held between the Federal Government and labour leaders last week.
ASUU leadership asked all the state chapters to meet and make input on the briefing from the meeting sent out to all of them. So far 20 of the 28 chapters that had concluded their meetings supported the suspension of the strike, while the remaining eight preferred that the varsity teachers pressed on with the strike.
Others had conditions, like the tutors at the University of Abuja who okayed the suspension of the strike but asked that their withheld three months salaries be repaid.
“Members also demanded for commitment on funding. We also want assurance from government that no lecturer will be victimised on the account of participating in the strike. We also asked that the template for sharing the earned allowance should be prepared within the next two weeks,” the source added.
Nasarawa State University had the same conditions. In addition, Dr. Theophilus Lagi, chairman of ASUU in the school, voiced his fears on the victimisation of staff who participated in the strike.
He said, “There are certain grey areas that must be cleared. The ‘no work no pay’ policy must be sorted out. Government must pay lecturers the arrears.
“We also need evidence that the N200bn that government promised to release this year is in the central bank. We are not going to suspend the strike until the money is there and available for sourcing. That is the position of the congress.
“Nobody trusts government. They have been making promises since 2009 and nothing has been implemented except the N30bn earned allowances.
“Secondly, the 2009 agreement is due for review; nothing has been said about that. Lecturers have been denied salary for three months, those monies must be paid.”
Universities that supported the suspension of the strike are The Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Delta State University; Bayero University Kano; Imo State University; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; and Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Federal University of Technology, Minna; University of Lagos; University of Ibadan; University of Calabar; University of Port-Harcourt; Federal University of Technology, Akure; Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; and Ekiti State University.
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