ASUU strike: FG must meet 2009 deal, no new agreement – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has requested the Federal Government to support or close universities.

This was disclosed by ASUU’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, in response to Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige’s statement that the Federal Government lacked the money necessary to satisfy its commitments under the agreement reached with ASUU and was contemplating renegotiating its conditions.

The ASUU president reiterated that the government must follow the 2009 deal or the union will not sign any new agreements or MoUs.

“Politicians in Nigeria do not take education seriously,” he said. Can they tell us how much COVID-19 cost? The education problem is ten times COVID-19 because education shapes a country. If it crumbles, you’re out.

They built railways, bailed out DISCOs (electricity distribution firms) which they sold to private individuals, yet they still purchase meters for Nigerians. But when it comes to education, they will complain they lack funds.

“They’re raising tour allowances. They go all over the world. The president’s wife was in Dubai for her birthday, as were all governors’ wives and their aides. They have money, government money, to educate their children in the UK. But they lack funds for schooling.

To fix this situation, we need international students who pay school fees in dollars and foreign professors who come here to educate, so that we don’t have to pay the big sum used to bring Nigerian students from Ukraine to Nigeria. They had funds to relocate wealthy youngsters from Ukraine. They spent nearly $8m, yet cannot support Nigerian colleges. They have money and are just playing games.

“The impoverished students would struggle at Nigerian colleges while their progeny will prosper abroad. Then they return here, grab the lucrative positions, and continue to lord it over the underprivileged youths. Classes matter. The choice is theirs: shut down all institutions and let the kids learn mechanics, or finance the universities.”

“We are not signing any agreement or MoU with them,” Osodeke said. They should follow through on their 13-year deal. The exchange rate then was $1.00 to N100.00, but currently it is $1.00 to N500.00. Even before we agreed in 2019, the value of that money had deteriorated.

Inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment are some of the union’s unmet requests.

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