Lectures of Nigeria’s public universities who have been on strike since 14 February will decide whether or not to go back to work at its National Executive Council meeting to be held between 30 July and 1 August.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) accused the Federal Government of failure to address their age-long demand for improved conditions of service.
ASUU’s Chairman at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Dr Gbolahan Bolarin ruled out the suspension of the protracted action until the NEC meeting. He told The PUNCH that the has been no positive development from the government to warrant a change of mind.
He said: “We are not even at a point to vote on continuation or not because there is nothing from the Federal Government yet. The NEC will be holding its meeting early next month (August). That should be 1 August. The meeting might even be on July 30″.
ASUU had insisted on the release of the White Paper of the visitation panels to universities and the release of re-vitalisation funds for the development of universities. It also cautioned the government against the proliferation of tertiary institutions and the failure to approve the deployment of the Universities Transparency Accountability System for their payments.
Last week, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige accused the union of engaging in a lopsided agreement with the Federal Government through the Prof Nimi Briggs committee.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has however called on Vice Chancellors to support efforts by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; the Federal Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to put an end to ongoing strike.
NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed said in Abuja on Monday during the opening of the 2022 NUC management retreat with Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities, that the have been confronted with uncertainties due to the unfortunate strike.
He added: “ASUU strike is in the sixth month and, as vice-chancellors, we know the negative consequences of the prolong closure of universities. We know what it means in-terms of its effect on the economy of a nation. As Vice Chancellors, we know what it means in terms of our institutional reputation and the future of our youths. University education is fundamental to success and a nation’s economy. Nations explore teaching, research and community development for aspiration of goals.”
Immediately after the opening of the retreat, some of the vice chancellors accompanied Rasheed to a stakeholders’ meeting on the ASUU strike.