The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike is becoming a rather common occurrence associated with the Nigerian tertiary education system. ASUU, the offshoot of the Nigerian Association of University Teachers, on February 14, 2022, embarked on industrial action due to the inability of the federal government to keep up with its end of the ASUU/FG 2009 agreement. By the 14th of August, 2022, Nigerian universities will have been closed for six months (181 days).
ASUU president, Prof. Osodeke, stated that the union would end the strike once the government consented and effects their agreement.
This was further confirmed by the chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan, Professor Ayo Akinwole. He said the strike would be called off once the federal government signs and implements the renegotiated 2009 ASUU/FG agreement.
This also includes the replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the release of the reports of visitation panels to federal universities.
Also, the distortions in salary payment challenges, funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowance, and poor funding of state universities and promotion arrears.
The professor said that the body and its members are not relenting in their fight for quality education in Nigeria. ASUU is saying no to the poor welfare the federal government has provided over the last year, with over nine years of allowances yet to be paid.
He said, “We are asking for a renegotiation of existing agreements to position our members as human beings working in a decent place. ASUU is asking for the revitalisation of public universities through appropriate funding.
ASUU is saying check the proliferation of universities that you cannot fund. We are saying Nigerians deserve to be ranked among the top 100 in the world if our leaders invest in education.”
To ensure results and express displeasure against the federal government for the ongoing ASUU strike, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their affiliates also embarked on a two-day national protest. This was in solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The ASUU journey
To reach a consensus between ASUU and the federal government, a seven-man team was formed to analyse the situation.
This, however, was short-lived due to the rejection of the reports and the constant change of the team by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.