Here is another Update on the July 2013 ASUU Strike – The latest on ASUU Strike and ASUU’s negotiation with Federal Government is that the Federal Government has now let us know their stand on the 2009 agreement with ASUU. The Federal Government on Tuesday, gave a hint that the ongoing strike by the university lecturers may not end soon, as it insists that it would not implement the 2009 agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, without amending the contentious issues.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, stated this at a news briefing, at the end of a meeting with members of the National Working Committee,NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, in Abuja.
He said it was wrong for anyone to blame the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for the ongoing strike, saying “the agreements was made before the present administration came to power, hence making it difficult to succumb to the letters of the agreement that is forcing it to seek renegotiation.”
According to him, “We have held series of discussions with ASUU and those discussions are centred around the 2009 agreements which predate this administration, which equally has to be re-negotiated.
“The terms of that agreement have created problems, not only for this administration, but the former administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Wogu said “What we are doing now will be long standing if ASUU will give us the opportunity to continue with these negotiations that have been on-going.
The Minister added that “We made an offer to ASUU, it was not acceptable to them. So the right thing for everybody to do is to come back to the negotiation table.”
Already, the Nigeria Labour Congress ,NLC, has threatened to join the ongoing ASUU strike.
NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the ‘2013 Rain School’ in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, called on the Federal Government to have meaningful dialogue with ASUU with a view to implementing the agreement.
“The state governments should equally obey the law and pay minimum wage to teachers and the local government workers as well as the 27.5 percent teachers’ enhanced salaries, he added, warning that “Should this strike persist, workers of Nigeria will not hesitate to join them in solidarity,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Joint Action Front,JAF,on Tuesday, enjoined Nigerians to support to save public education in the country.
Disclosing plans to go on a nationwide protest, JAF appealed to Nigerians “to see the current struggle by ASUU “and the inconclusive struggles of other unions in the education sector as the struggle of the Nigerian oppressed masses.”
A statement jointly signed by Dipo Fashina and Abiodun Aremu, said “JAF has agreed on a template for national mobilisation and urges all stakeholders in the education sector – parents, students, ASUU, ASUP, SSANIP, COESU, National Union of Teachers ,NUT, Non-Academic Staff Union,NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities ,SSANU, professionals and workers’ unions in the NLC and TUC and the oppressed masses of Nigeria to hold consultative and mobilisation meetings and rallies, in view of the programme of action to be made public in the next one week.
“The national protest is against the current trend of poor funding and neglect for public education by government at all levels.
“We appeal to Nigerians to support the coming national protest to save public education from collapse.
“We use this opportunity to remind Nigerians of some of the demands by the academic unions that centre around failure by governments (federal and state) to fund facilities and infrastructure in the universities, for the revitalisation of the facilities and academic programmes; failure to implement the NEEDS Assessment Report as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 24, 2012 on the standardisation and effective running of the universities; and failure to pay legitimately earned allowances of the academic staff.”
Also speaking, National Treasurer of ASUU, Ademola Aremu, has advised the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector.
According to the immediate past Chairman of the University of Ibadan,UI, chapter of the union, “It is better to close down universities in Nigeria than to continue to produce ignorant people.
He lamented that “Ghana is now the home to Nigerian students and children of the elite in particular because Ghana shut down the education system for two years and now they are enjoying the gains of the struggle.
“We may have to borrow a leaf from them and put our education on sound footing to stop outsiders from making us a laughing stock.
Aremu added that Nigerians pay close to N100 billion to access education in Ghana, “These were the same Ghanaians that were here doing menial jobs,” he decried.
Source : DailyPost