The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the Federal Government is not sincere about resolving the issues that led to its almost six-month strike.
ASUU described as “unfortunate”, government’s belief that it could placate its members into calling off the strike with salary increment instead of holistically addressing the issues affecting university education in the country.
The union, however, disclosed that its leadership would meet again on Tuesday with the government in Abuja.
The two-week presidential ultimatum issued to Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu to reach a truce with ASUU and allied bodies in the universities have elapsed without any positive outcome.
ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke yesterday accused the government of paying lip service to university education. He lamented the prolonged strike, saying that ASUU members were ready to return to the classrooms once their demands are met.
He said: “The government is not sincere in its dealing with us. This has been the issue all along. What we are doing is the sacrifice we have to save this country and its youth. A collapsed university sysyem is a collapsed country and we are almost there.
“We will not be tired, we will ensure that our university system works.
“We have not heard any serious communication from the government though they have invited us for renegotiation of the 2009 agreement tomorrow (today).
“The issues have to do with funding, structure, autonomy, and how to raise funds for the university system in Nigeria. But the government has reduced the issue to just salary alone.
“If the government has looked at the issues comprehensively, we will not be talking about funding. This government wants to blackmail us with salaries.
“Every university in the world is an autonomous body. You don’t subject the university to public service. This is why we are where we are today”.
Credit: The Nation