The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed readiness to call off the ongoing strike if the Federal Government addresses their concerns.
Odeseke Speaks On ASUU Strike
KanyiDaily recalls that ASUU had embarked on a warning strike since February 14, over the failure of the federal government to meet its demands.
Amid the strike, the government and the union have held a series of meetings, but no agreement has been reached by both sides on ending the strike.
Speaking on Channels Television on Monday night, ASUU national president, Prof. Emmanuel Osedeke said it had completed negotiation with the Federal Government on the issues that led to its 141-day-old strike.
Osodeke confirmed that an agreement had been reached with the government, but the strike will continue unless government sign the 2009 agreement and accept their own generated payment platform, University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS).
He said, “The strike can end tomorrow. We are done with the negotiations and now waiting for the government to call us for the signing of the renegotiated agreement.
“Let government tell us they have finished testing the UTAS and sign the agreement, then tomorrow we will call off the strike.
“We challenge the government, when would they sign the agreement? When would they accept UTAS? These are the two questions we should ask Nigerian government,” he stated.
Osodeke listed the non-revitalisation of infrastructure in the universities and the disputed mode of payments to university teachers as some of the issues.
He attributed the lingering strike to what he called a lack of will by the government to do the needful.
Osedeke explained that ASUU embarked on the strike after exhausting all avenues available to amicably resolve the issues with the government.
He said: “If the government had been willing to resolve the issues affecting Nigerians, then there would be no need to go on strike. The problem is the will of the government to resolve issues.
“All the issues that made us go on strike are still there; that is the revitalisation fund that is putting more money into universities and revitalising the infrastructure in the universities. There is also the issue of our mode of payments in the universities.
“There is no university in the world where lecturers are paid salaries from the Accountant General’s Office.
“We have challenged them to provide one, if universities are a universal body, why are they doing things differently? “We talk of negotiation of the agreement, the proliferation of universities, among others, so there are lots of issues that they have not resolved.
“What we are doing is for the benefit of Nigerians. We want a a situation where there will not be a disparity between the children of the rich and the poor in knowledge acquisition in this country.”
KanyiDaily recalls that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had recently expressed confidence that the Federal Government will soon resolve issues on the ongoing ASUU strike.