ASUU News Today 11th August 2022: here is the latest asuu strike news, asuu strike update today, asuu news on government meeting demand, when will asuu strike be called off, asuu latest news on resumption, and all asuu stories has been compiled by GoldenNewsNg Nigeria.So read on
ASUU: Federal Government undermines its legitimacy by Onyekpe, PhD, of the University of Lagos.
I have been part of ASUU’S struggle to save the public varsity system for over three decades.
The story has been that of unchanging marginalisation of the education sector by the federal government in its policy formulation and annual budgetary appropriation.
Thus, what little progress we have made concerning the provision of basic infrastructure and staff emoluments and welfare has been in the aftermath of strike actions.
It is so unfortunate that the federal government would do nothing for the public varsities without strike actions. It is much more unfortunate that the federal government would repudiate agreements officially reached with ASUU through protracted strenuous and rigorous joint meetings of government and ASUU’S representatives for negotiation. Some of the rounds of negotiation would last for more than six months, with high-cost implications for both parties, Government and ASUU. Yet, the agreements are never implemented.
The federal government has continued to recklessly repudiate its agreements with ASUU. The government does this with absolute impunity because it is accountable only to itself. Members of the union and their families bear the brutal brunt of this tragedy, as the wretched salaries of university teachers in Nigeria are stopped during strikes.
The current strike began February 14, 2022, and salaries were last paid at the end of the same month, against labour laws which provide for sustained payment of salaries to striking workers for the first three months of strike action.
The strike is now almost six months! What indeed would the federal government offer to varsity teachers to uplift their morale after months of its bellicose response to teachers’ patriotic and legitimate demand that the public varsity system is revitalised to effectively perform its core functions of teaching, research, and community service?
It is pertinent to inform the Nigerian public that, the salaries paid to university teachers in Their Republic, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are the lowest in the world university system. University teachers and their families bear the brutal brunt of the situation! Indeed, the Nigerian State, government, economy, and people, broadly society, are the ultimate losers.
It goes without saying that, the level of a nation’s growth and development is largely a function of the state of its education. How much progress can be made in a nation where critical university courses such as medicine, pharmacy, engineering, architecture, and building technology are taught as literature, religion, oral history, folktale, and social studies? Why would the critical courses not be taught the way they are taught today when the requisite facilities and infrastructure are not in place? How much progress can be made by a nation whose varsity teachers are totally demotivated and helplessly demoralised under the yoke and impact of primitive income regimes?
Few varsity teachers are today able to provide the quotidian needs of their households, let alone the luxury of owning a simple functional house of their own or a used car! This is not simply because of the stoppage of salaries in times of strike, but the inevitable consequence of an utterly poor reward system for varsity teachers in a nation where the national leaders and legislators are the second highest paid in the world after Australia.
We are in for what may turn out to be the longest ASUU strike so far, in the history of the Union’s struggle to save the public university system.
The fundamental problem is ideological. Having unquestioningly embraced and swallowed hook-line-and-sinker, the capitalist and commercial-advantage doctrine of global imperialism, apropos of social services in the Third World, so-called, the accursed thieving elite in control of the prebendary state and its federal government do not have the political will and sincerity of purpose to constructively address the crisis in, and poverty of, the nation’s public university system.
Therefore, it should not be surprising at all that, after their refusal to implement the 2009 Agreement with ASUU for over 12 years, they reluctantly yielded to pressure for the review of the agreement. But the same federal government could not endorse the draft of the renegotiated agreement submitted by the Professor Munzali Committee after six months of a most painstaking engagement, December, 2020-May, 2021. The federal government chose, instead, to refer the Professor Munzali Committee’s draft to a new committee, i.e, the Professor Briggs Committee for review.
The Professor Briggs Committee has since submitted its report. But the president of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari would rather he rabidly scream “enough is enough” at ASUU than say a word on the Professor Briggs Committee’s document.
No university teachers today who themselves went to Nigerian universities before the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, in the mid-1980s would not weep for Nigeria’s public university system. The system is almost totally destroyed, and this has been the justification for ASUU’S principled struggle to save the system.
Today, those of us trained in the 1970s -80s in the nation’s public varsities cannot give our students, the training we received in our generation. To put it mildly, today, the facilities and infrastructure are grossly inadequate.
Second, the teachers are not only not motivated, but they are also treated with disdain and their contributions are bagatellised. Then, the majority of the students are unteachable, because of the foundational problem of the destruction of the primary and secondary levels of education by successive governments, and because of students’ essential needs and basic welfare challenges.
On the deep crisis ravaging Nigeria’s public university system, I cannot but weep, weep, and weep for the nation!
I am deeply sad for the national president of ASUU, dear Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, and his Executive Committee. Looking at the president, in particular, one can see a visibly beleaguered and intensely troubled leader being deliberately psychologically frustrated by the government he is serving with maximum patriotism and selflessness.
The federal government has lost its legitimacy on the indices of security of life and property, physical infrastructure, employment for the people, food supplies, cost of living, healthcare, primary and secondary education, transportation, energy, and even potable water.
Without a thought, the same government is digging deeper and deeper the grave of the public university system, and, by so doing, digging its own grave.
For, when a popular democratic revolution comes, the moribund state and its thieving agents and propagandists will have no hiding place. Therefore, the power that be should choose this day, between peaceful reform or mass revolutionary action, spontaneous or organised.
ASUU News on Strike today : There’s no way FG can borrow N1.1trn to meet ASUU’s demands — Umahi
Abakaliki—GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State, yesterday stressed that there’s was no way the country can borrow N1.1 trillion, in order to meet the demand of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
ASUU, which has been on strike for over five months, is demanding among other things, the full implementation of the 2009 agreement it signed with the Federal Government.
Umahi stated this when he received the Board of Trustees of Nigeria Police Trust Fund at the new Government House, Abakaliki.
According to Umahi, “I cannot see how we cannot sit down with our ASUU leaders and iron out this problem about the ASUU strike.”
He advised the Federal Government to begin by releasing fraction by fraction of the funds demanded by ASUU as a way of finding lasting solutions to the present educational challenge facing the country.
“I have read in social media and newspapers, how students got into trouble just by sitting at home or engaging in means of keeping themselves busy instead of being in schools. There is no way the country, Nigeria will go and borrow 1.1trillion to meet ASUU’s demand. It’s quite unreasonable. Are their demands genuine? Yes, but we can start little by little.
“There must be commitment on the side of both parties , ASUU is not asking this to take to their houses so to say, they are asking it for our children to better the infrastructure, to better the lecturers and the students. Yes, but we can start with a fraction of that and then have a programme that will run on the platform of sincerity to address all the lots.
“But let me also say that most of the time, our people have low appetite for maintenance of public works. No matter how much you deploy to these universities, unless the users, the industry, the regulators begin to treat public infrastructure as their own in the various universities, it will continue to go bad no matter how much the federal government deploys to it.”
WHAT NEXT? One month after Buhari’s directive, ASUU strike still lingers
With bated breath, they wait endlessly hoping the prolonged strike would end soon. But there seems to be no end in sight. In the past five months, the lingering crisis between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has put students at a disadvantage. As things stand, the Nigerian university educational system has been crippled and this may be the beginning of the end of what used to be a qualitative and prime higher educational system in the country.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the failure of the federal government to honour an agreement on issues bordering on funding of universities, as well as salaries and allowances of lecturers.
The ASUU executives and the federal government have held a series of meetings without reaching an agreement. Aside from that, the two parties have also been enmeshed in blame games. While ASUU said Nigerians should blame the government for its failure to take necessary steps to address the protracted strike; the federal government, on the other hand, said it was not at fault, accusing the union of making negotiations difficult.
As a result, the industrial action was extended twice – in March, by eight weeks, and in May, by another two weeks.
Stakeholders have also accused the government of being insensitive to the plight of students and the educational crisis. According to them, the perennial strike is a threat to the education of students as academic calendars are disrupted – prolonging the years spent in school.
The impact is often felt by the students. University admissions are deferred as a result of pending admissions that need to be attended to. Upon resumption, academic work is rushed, leading to poor performance. Many students will also not be mobilised for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme as and when due.
ENOUGH OF THIS STRIKE!
JULY 11, President Muhammadu Buhari said “enough is enough”. The president asked ASUU to reconsider its stance on the strike, saying the action had taken a toll on parents, students and other stakeholders.
“I hope that the institutions that we have like ASUU will sympathise with the country and the people. There is nothing wrong with showing the government and the leadership that you don’t like what they are doing. But enough is enough. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake,” Buhari had said.
Subsequently, at a meeting with stakeholders on July 19, the president issued a two-week ultimatum to Adamu Adamu, minister of education, to resolve the issues and end the strike.
The minister was also expected to report back to Buhari on the development in two weeks.
The president’s directive raised the hopes of students, who were eagerly waiting for positive feedback; but a few weeks after, their hopes of returning to school were dashed. ASUU extended the strike action by another four weeks.
Giving reasons for its decision, Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, said the rollover was to give the government time to resolve the outstanding issues.
Despite Buhari’s directive, the industrial action is still on, increasing students’ frustration with the seeming lack of progress in negotiations between the government and ASUU
President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Emmanuel Osodeke has disclosed that since the ongoing strike which started in February, the government has held the salaries of lecturers.
He disclosed this while speaking on Channels TV this morning August 2. He accused the Federal Government of using hunger as a tool to force the striking lecturers into returning to their classrooms.
According to him, the Federal Government thinks that depriving the lecturers of their salaries will force the university teachers to collapse and end the strike.