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BREAKING! See When ASUU Says It’ll Call Of It’s Current Strike [Read Here]

ASUU has made it clear that the current strike is not a warning strike, but totally comprehensive and indefinite and will remain like that until the government meets its demands.

National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi, in this exclusive interview by Tribune’s TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE, speaks on reasons the ongoing industrial action by the union is inevitable and the union’s refusal to call it off until the Federal Government yields to its demands.

In September, the Federal Government claimed to have released N20 billion funding for universities, what is your reaction to that?

The N200 billion is not an issue at all. The government ought to have released that money latest by October last year and the amount served as a mark of commitment towards the implementation of the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with ASUU in that year. In that MoU, government agreed to massively inject funds into the public university system in the country. This is as a way of re-vitalising the system. That is why we called that fund, which is a total sum of N1.3 trillion, a re-vitalisation fund. Between 2013 and 2017, government released only N200 billion, leaving out N1.1 trillion. So, when ASUU engaged them last year and we told them that they had abandoned the agreement, they said no. And that to show that they had not abandoned it, they would release N20 billion immediately while looking into a way of mobilising fund for the balance. That was the N20 billion they were making noise about that they released many months after. So towards raising the N1.1 trillion, government raised a seven-man team and they worked for about two months or submitted their report. But up till now, government has kept the report in the cooler. In October last year, if government had released N20 billion, we expect them to release a stretch of N220 billion on yearly basis and will do that for five years.

At times, people get confused on various terminologies used concerning this FG\ASUU faceoff. Sometimes, you say 2009 agreement, at another time, we hear 2013 MoU and yet another, you refer to the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA), what are the differences?

The 2009 agreement is the originating document. That is where we have four major issues outlined. They are centred on funding, academic freedom and university autonomy, conditions of service, and other related issues. In implementing the 2009 agreement which was signed in that year, the government agreed to inject N1.3 trillion into the system.

We dragged this for about three years before they finally agreed and raised a panel in 2012 that went out on visitations to virtually all the public universities to assess their needs. To be specific, a total of 73 universities were visited. And what the panel came up with was worse than the picture ASUU painted. They found out that many of them have pipes but with no running safe water, no conducive classrooms, no laboratories and all that. And that was what gave birth to what we call the 2012 Needs Assessment Report. ASUU engaged them again. After six months, the Federal Government agreed to implement that report. When we met, the government said it was okay. They said we should give them a six-year plan on how we were going to address all the issues at stake. And that was what informed the signing of the memorandum of understanding in 2013.

In that MoU, government was to release N200 billion immediately which I had mentioned earlier and then releasing N220 billion every year and for the next five years, all totalling N1.3 trillion, which I had also mentioned earlier.

But here we are. So, you can see that both the MoU of 2013 and the MoA of 2017 originated from the 2009 agreement. The failure to implement the 2009 agreement gave birth to the 2013 MoU and in turn to the 2017 MoA. That is the link.

Then, is it not safe to say that ASUU is forcing the Federal Government to sign all these agreements?

That cannot be true. This is what government is expected to do. Now, the public primary and secondary schools in the country have almost collapsed. It is only children from poor homes that attend them. How did we get to this sorry state as a country? It is the fault of governments at various levels. They abandoned their responsibilities towards the primary and secondary levels of education. And if we turn our back on public universities, a similar thing would have happened to them. And that is what ASUU does not want. The ruling class which has diverted our money to build their own private universities is not bothered by what happens to public universities. They can afford to send their children to private schools. Even you and I who attend public primary and secondary schools, am sure, would not want our children to go to the same schools today. What exactly is what is happening and as it is, a time will come when the children of the poor will not be able to attend public schools anymore. And we don’t want this to happen.

Does it mean that ASUU believes that the Federal Government has the money but deliberately will not want to spend it on public universities?

Are you saying Nigeria has no money? We have if we manage our resources well. How much is a senator earning if they actually love Nigeria? How much is a governor earning? How much do you think goes into their security votes? What security are they talking about? Are we in a state of emergency? We have done our arithmetic which we always show to them that Nigeria can afford more than what ASUU is asking. The Federal Government can afford a free education at all levels if those in the corridors of power have the political will and interest of the common man at heart. It is just that they are a selfish set of people. They think about themselves and their families and are not bothered about what happens to those who are less privileged in the society.

Now that you are on strike, how will you react to the government’s threat of ‘no work, no pay’ rule for workers?

That can never be directed to ASUU. I don’t also know where that policy can work. Industrial action is legal in labour law. Even at that, that kind of threat is an empty one. As for ASUU, even when we are not in class, we are conducting researches and engaging in community services. That means our work is not only in the classrooms. So, what we are doing now is an advocacy as stakeholders in the university system on one hand and stakeholders in the society on the other just to ensure that government sits up and does the needful. Public universities must not collapse. The ruling class must know that it is their responsibility to provide quality education for children from poor homes just as they send their own children to private universities or abroad to study. They too deserve something good. And that is a way to prevent them from taking arms against the society in future. Their interest is what matters to ASUU.

Students are seriously affected by your action.

The truth of the matter is that people need to appreciate the content of the complaint that the union is making and the issues involved in this. We can’t continue to pretend that all is well. If Nigeria were to be a poor country, we would endure the situation of things in the education sector but we all know that Nigeria is not a poor country as I had earlier said. This strike is for the good of everyone. It is not about ASUU alone. If there is good and conducive learning and hostel environment, students will be the most beneficiaries. We also have children in schools and that is why we must all make the sacrifice today so that we can have a better tomorrow. Government wants to introduce an education bank where schools and students can obtain loans after jerking up school fees. How many children from poor homes get jobs years after graduation? How then would they be able to pay back such loans if they don’t have jobs? That kind of bank will end up in the hands of the rich. In fact, there are lots of issues. ASUU doesn’t embark on strike until all avenues have been explored. Students, parents and the entire public should understand that our action is for the good of all.

Then when are you calling off the strike?

This strike is not a warning strike, but total, comprehensive and indefinite. It will remain like this until the government meets our demands.

Written by Lawal

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79 Comments

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  1. This is Nigeria, everything is being politicised. The extent of corruption is demonstrating how we are at the verge of collapsing as a nation. Corruption cut across every profession and this is an indication of how bad our educational system is. Instead of government to do the needful but they are looking for excuses.

  2. It’s just axiomatic. ASUU is fighting for our right,pretending all is well can never solve the issue at hand but rather worsen it.The poor masses that voted those in power, those that diverted our own inherited resources to build their private university,to send their own children to study abroad are always oppressed.Let those earning huge sum of money as overhead allowances and salaries all cut their income to allow the voters also study.

  3. Undoubtedly, the issue of strike has became a lousy calamity in this perplexed country of ours. And I am not supporting ASSU or Federal govt.

    • please let’s think abt future generation and can prosperity will forgive FG in entangled stage of a nation education sector is in the state of totally collapsed,I call on civil societies,pressure group,Association,Human right activatism, regional govt,and all kind of peaceful interest group to join hand with ASsu to compelled Fg implement the moA 2013.

  4. Kudos to Asuu becouse you are fighting for the masses not your need alone, but consider we students. Also FG should please see us as a future of tommarow so, they should grand the request of Asuu for the betterment of masses. The ongoing strike have affected us seriously. God bless Nigeria.

  5. Yes I am with you ASSU, but what is bothering me is the condition of students who are far away from their abode, you now live them in a state of delima I.e going home or staying on campus with the hope that today or tomorrow strike will be call off. Please let us know whether to go or continue staying.

  6. I totally assent with you ASUU, because this is a gigantic cumbersore which is eating up the educational system of the country like a cancaworm, the strike is for the betterment of the students in general if i may say. Hope the FG will comply with ASUU require

  7. ASSU is right, Nigeria leaders are so selfish, is only an election period they will remember the poor. No wonder, a wise man once said, nearly all people claim to be versatile, but you want to text them, give them power.

  8. We stand with ASUU. Ur complaint are very visible, and clear to those who can see. Sometimes I wonder why the Government pay more attention to political issues than education.

  9. Sorry to say am with ASUU but this is just a waste of time to us especially final year student please put us into consideration we need your assistant please

  10. It shall be well than this. The calamity is from the leaders. Nothing, but, we are pleading FG to meets ASSU demands. Care about our future. We are blessed, but, I pray more bless that we Union will earn.

  11. the problem is, can the union (ASUU),use the money for it is meant for? if yes what have they done with 220billions released to them, i am a student in the university, i have not withness any change niether in facilities no in the morale of the lectures instead they are getting weak and weaker, if the on going strike is for sake the student not tree their (ASUU) pocket,they should better call it off, “half bread is better than non”.

    • Before we all blame ASUU for the strike they have called but for all listening and going throuh there Interview we have to take the blame for our government cos if it happenes that there chirldren ar in public university this strike will not last long if we are to judge our selves right we all know that how much did our senetors earn in every month for god sake lets make a point and what progress are they bringing to this our nation pls government most pay that money from now on we all know dat government dont want us to study but insha allah we will

    • Thank you so much, I’m with you. You can not driveway a student out of exams yet you claim to be with him. I was driven out stopping me from writing my final exams. How do you think this has helped me? I’m sorry for ASUU.

  12. if this strike is not about politics, why now when presidential election is on the way, something ASUU ought to have done since 2009? you the union chairman where are your children schooling? if you say you are fighting for the less privilege, do you know what damages this annual and systematic blackmailing method call strike will do to our carreer? either you stop playing with our future (call off strike) ,or shortdown the public universities forever until the government is ready to do otherwise.

  13. Please
    You people should help our situation, we have not even done half of what is in our outline. Exam is next year and we are just depending on past questions, FG do what you’re supposed to do abeg

  14. Please I beg of both the federal government and the Asuu to please reconsider what is at stake here. Students are the ones bearing the consequences of the strike action. Pls have mercy on us

  15. State universities where students pay heavily and are still denied of writing exams for the end of session should be considered and allow to finish up on time.This my pleat.

  16. It is off course clear that ASSU strikes to achieve golden goals for for our better tomorrow. But just as one person here has spotted, since ASSU had been collecting this money annually, and believed must have been dispensed accordingly to our Universities for maintenance whatsoever, have they ever conducted a sincere check on these schools to justify their pursuits for the Nigerians?
    Go to University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state and thoroughly assess some Faculties and Departments, whether you will be quaterly justified of the money collected from FG towards you set goals.
    Pls let’s act and work sincerely for better Nigeria. I support ASSU!

  17. Nice job ASUU. We Nigerians are with you. May Almighty Allah guide us and save us from enemies of progress in this Nija. They claim they give quality and standard education I think a question need to be asked at this juncture ” can they afford to take their children to one of those schools they claim they’re working on?” The answer to this question is capital NO They can’t afford to do that.
    Just imagine Nigerian constitution allows SSCE holders to contest for higher post like honourable and the likes in order to lute public money but NCE, HND orBSc holders are been played with small amount of money every month as their salary ah what a pity. But one day the truth will be appeared to everyone

  18. It’s very obvious that ASUU is trying to ensure Nigerian education is save for better tomorrow, well appreciated, by God’s grace it shall be achieved. We’re all aware that these people children study abroad, which means the action only have more infect on us the average Nigeria students putting Education Calendar year into consideration. If I may suggest or better still appeal, let’s the academic activities continue while fighting the course further, embark on timeless televised nationwide peaceful rally, which I believed Fed. Govt. may see as some that may affect come general election 2019. Thanks.

  19. It’s such a big shame on the government of this great nation…
    Imagine the Labour Congress of a nations whose money is being used to run a smooth economy in most developed countries going on strike almost every 6momths……
    It’s so shameful that the FG can’t meet up with a token of 220billion naira per year yet they can request for 242billion naira for election…and the most annoying part is that, some people will still vote these same group of selfish, useless and irresponsible politicians come 2019

  20. ASUU well done. Those in government of Nigeria are insensitive to the yearnings of the generality of this country. They do not hearken to the voice of reason preferring to come up with policies that are inimical to the larger section of the populace. How on earth will the govt conceive the idea of setting up an education Bank to enslave her citizens? How will graduates under such arrangement be able to defray the loan and free themselves of the burden when there are graduates of over 10 years without jobs in this country?
    ASUU please stand your ground as the voice of the voiceless and insist on the needful to be done by the govt.
    I must quickly add that where success is attained mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that monies released are put to use in targeted areas of concern.
    ASUU is not asking for too much for the masses, the govt is well able to do the needful, just that she is bereft of the political will to do the needful because of greed and avarice and selfishness!

  21. ASUU we are by your site, we were complaining and blaming because we have no knowledge of the purpose of your industrial action

  22. Yes, its true, Asuu is right. The issue of Nigeria is now alarming in different angles, but My own pity goes to the incumbent students. I would have loved to say let the strike continue, but to crown it all, I just hope that the government act fast about this situation!!!.

  23. pls ASUU what’s the fate of students especially the final year students that are done but yet to do their project defence and some did from the same school pls consider the students from poor family background which are from far place. in which even the transport money from their residents to school is a prblm and they were leaving in confusion pls Asuu help this students out

  24. Because of this strike universities are closed down,students are waiting for their admission’s. Am a student and I know how it feel like to write am exam,and at d end no admission, plz call of this strike so we can go back to school.
    Not as if d education rate in Nigeria is standard but yet we re at home doing nothing.
    The children of the wealthy men are in private universities, so they don’t care because it not affecting them.
    CALL OF THE STRIKE SO WE CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL…………

  25. People in government are privileged and forget the God’s divine blessing over them. Or they think, they perfect that was why they attained the the eminent sits. Asuu continue to rise the voice of voiceless (masses).

  26. You didn’t start strike until on this political era while politicient are busy struggling to get people. We call on our able lecturers to call off this strike till after election, agree with what FG promise to give you.

  27. The children of the poor are termed mechinaries for the for the rich and those who are ready to sponsor terrorism, what do we do when we can not go to school, what do we do when the little jobs are only meant for the rich, and the only opportunity is to accept an offer from the rich to carry out an inhuman activity, its a thing of pitty for Nigeria because it things are not shaped, Nigeria will see its worse in its nearest generation

  28. We call on the FG to look upon the future of Nigeria and not to focus on politics. When the education sector of a nation is being jeopardized, the future hope of that nation is at stake. We are the students that are currently suffering from the ongoing strike, and the power to put and end to this is with the FG, so we are seriously calling upon the FG, it they really care about our future, let it respond positively to the demands of ASUU. We are looking up to you Federal Government.

  29. I want to immensely commend ASUU for this industrial action which is aimed at calling fed govt to revitalize public universities for the benefit of students from poor homes/families.I personally acknowledge ASUU’s effort but want to use this opportunity to call on ASUU chairman, prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi to beg the striking Union to suspend this current strike even though it is not a warning strike but a serious, indefinite and comprehensive strike.The fed govt on their part should do the needful and meet ASUU’s demand before the matter gets out of hand.We students are staying too long at home and the strike is affecting us in one way or the other.

  30. I want to immensely commend ASUU for the strike action because it is geared toward revitalizing federal/public universities. I want to also call on the fed govt to do the needful before the matter gets out of hand.We students have stayed too long at home with some of us whiling away time and we ought to have gone back to school to continue our studies. I wish to call on ASUU chairman to dialogue with his people to suspend this industrial action which is aimed at calling fed govt to revitalize public universities for the benefit of students from poor homes. Thank you sir.

  31. please,we are appealing yo the FG to see thorougly to the needs of ASUU.Niger Delta University has not been stable for the past three years;it is either one issue or another and now this:”An indefinite ASUU strike”

  32. Nice Job ASUU, I just pray you don’t deviate from this action for the government to perform their responsibilities, because the poor ones are suffering and I wish this can also happen to public primary and secondary school for them to enjoy their right. God bless ASUU and God bless Nigeria

  33. Actually, we are in full support of this matter since the FG cannot fulfill the promise it has been taken and they don’t care since their offspring are not studying within the home-based universities. ASUU we really do support nervously.

  34. I’m shocked that the federal government has turned a blind eye to this issue. It’s been about a month or so this strike action has been on play and students are out of school. This can’t be so in country like Ghana or in any other countries most equal to “the giant of Africa” so to say … I hate this country! I hate to be called a Nigerian!

  35. This fight is a good one, but I must add that NANS which is the National Association of Nigerian Student’s should come out openly and back Asuu and also let’s the Federal Government know how the students feel

  36. Asuu is really fighting for us.cos if dey are quiet FG won’t do anything about it.
    Nans should also come out in support so dat FG can know dat its a serious issue.

  37. I think ASUU Is doing right thing but wasting our time for no just course, claiming dat govt is owing trillions of dollars while d 220bln has given out nothing lecturers done abt it wasting our time anyhow or are we gonna spend all our times here in this selfish country called Nigeria.??? Let dem stop this nonsense their doing or else God will stop which everyone must gonna kick jerrycan someday ! Fg n Asus beware dat I av numbered d yrs I will spend here in this corrupt country …n no man can stop it cuz it’s written in heaven

    • I have a word, is Asus helping matters no…….. because they salfeil interests if not what are them doing with that money Fg give to them senses there are yous us wallahi………….!! Pls pls pls call us for the sake of GOD

  38. Nigerian’s will always be Nigerians…
    Assu are just pretending to be what they are not…. And the government are exactly what we taught they are (never supportive to our educational career because there children study abroad)

  39. FG and ASSU am pretty sure this coin toss is not for the greater good..Please release this money, it’s not your own…. and ASSU if you don’t use this money for the intended purpose you all will die.
    Am tired of a country where no one can ever be straight forward when a huge amount of money is concerned.
    FG I know all your children attend private school it’s ok.
    Just give ASSU their share of the spoils so we can finish the one that concerns us

  40. Honestly speaking this is really affecting the students big time! Let ASSU be heard so this strike can be done with!! Am tired of having to be reminded of how corrupt our country can be those who are charge of the money should release it it not even certain if ASSU will use the money well but that doesn’t even matter.Consider the setback the students are facing n just do what is right it might not affect u now but it affect the citizens the government hold responsibilities to. It even no news that the government don’t even know their responsibilities at least fear the fact that we are Nigerians n our swear de always work!!!

  41. We expert thé fg to considère thé poor people in thé contry in ordre to Call off thé stricte so that we can have better éducation sector.

  42. Asuu pls ooo,we are tired of staying at home,those federal governments,u people have children ooo but remember that it is whatever you sow that you will reap,the bad you sow shall you all reap.

  43. Good job ASUU
    We are with u.till FG meets our demands because their children are studying at abroad that’s why.…only a non privilege child is concern.

  44. This is serious, our leaders are thoughtlessly heartless. Please Asuu should continue with the strike until the nigeria government see’s the need to make teachers their priority. ASUU u guyz shud ride on.

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