Academic Staff Union of Universities is set to call off its strike action after its consultation with individual striking universities on the offer made by the Federal Government.
A reliable source said the leadership of the union under Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie has finished consultations with members and members have accepted government’s offer even though he refused to state what had been offered.
Professor Awuzie is expected to make the pronouncement suspending the strike action on Wednesday.
There are strong indications that Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may call of its three month-old strike after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting as the Union President, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, yesterday said that Federal Government has done its best in meeting up with the Union demands.
Already, the National Assembly had last week passed the bill for the extension of the retirement age of lectures from 65 to 70 which is part of the demands that brought about the current ASUU strike.
But the unions major demand was proper funding of the universities to allow sponsorship of researches that will power the nation’s economy.
They will be meeting soonest after which we will update everyone on the final say.
Minister of Education, Professor Ruquyyatu Rufai has said that about N106billion was needed to meet the demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which She said cannot be sourced now.
Answering questions from newsmen in Minna, Niger State yesterday, the Minister said though there was an agreement between government and ASUU in 2009, both parties did not agree on where the fund would be sourced.
She said: “The initial agreement was that the money to offset the allowances as demanded by ASUU was supposed to come from the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, from all the universities across the country.
“But the IGR of all these universities put together is just about N25 billiion and we are looking for N106 billion.”
’’Even if we do not touch the IGR from these universities, we cannot meet up; so we have to find a way of sourcing for this money,” the minister remarked.
‘’When the agreement was signed in 2009, the agreement did not stipulate who will even pay the money or from what source. The area was left unattended to and we now have to enter into another dialogue on where and how the money is going to be sourced,” She added.
The minister who was in Minna for the commissioning of the N56 million new Zonal office of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, said that as at now, government had implemented nine of the demands of the union leaving only others unresolved.
News just came in that the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) nationwide will midnight today (December 4th) embark on an indefinite strike.
National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie who made this known Sunday in Port Harcourt said this time the strike would be total and comprehensive.
According to him, there would be no grading and marking of scripts during the duration of the strike action.
He explained that their decision stemmed from what he described the refusal of the federal government to implement the core components of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
According to him with the failure of federal government to address the issues even when ASUU granted it a two months grace period it had become clear that the government was not willing to honor the agreement.
“Therefore, ASUU resolved, painfully, to direct all members of ASUU in all branches nationwide to proceed on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike, beginning from the midnight of Sunday, 4th December, 2011.
For the avoidance of doubt, a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike means: no teaching, no examination, no grading of script, no project supervisions, no inaugural lectures, no appointment and promotion meeting, no statutory meetings (Council, Senate, Board etc) or other meetings directed by government or their agents”,
“The World Bank and IMF were decisive in sponsorship and constitution of the Economic Team, which was put in place following the inauguration of Mr President after the April 2011 elections.
“The ruling class has failed. It cannot provide jobs, education, healthcare, affordable transportation, roads and so on. It is incapable of uniting the people; it uses ethnic origin as a political weapon. The ruling class violates the integrity of the judiciary.
The faction in power, with President Jonathan as head, is unable to protect the people from hunger, robbery, murder of innocent citizens and generalised insecurity.
Politically, Nigeria is in a precarious position in spite of the 2011 general elections.
“In recent months, federal government has intensified its campaign for devaluation, privatization and petroleum price increase, which the Nigerian labour movement, including ASUU, shall resist”, he said.