ASUU ready to dialogue with FG to end strike
By Alabidun Shuaib Abdulrahman
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it is ready to negotiate with government toward ending its one-week old industrial action.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the ASUU President, who was a featured guest on TVC News Breakfast show on Tuesday, also advised government to establish an education bank for proper funding of public universities.
Ogunyemi criticised the attitude of government toward the university lecturers’ demands, saying that letters notifying the government of the strike, which were submitted to the education and labour ministries on Nov. 5, had not been replied.
“We wrote to inform the ministries that we had resumed the strike we suspended in Sept. 2017, because government failed to implement the agreements we signed.
“The ministries signed to acknowledge receipt of the copies we gave them, but none has written a reply to us,” he said.
He accused the political class of killing primary and secondary education in Nigeria, saying that 24 states had failed to access the Universal Basic Education Commission funds for 2018.
According to him, that has left UBEC with more than N60 billion that state governments are yet to access.
Ogunyemi observed that the federal government, which had consistently allocated seven per cent to education in the last two years, was not sincere in the claim that it was declaring a state of emergency in the education sector.
“The Federal Government suddenly woke up from slumber and announced a state of emergency in the education sector. It also promised to allocate 15 per cent of its budget to the sector. We find this unbelievable and deceitful.
“We feel that the sudden promise has more to do with the fact that we are approaching an election year,” he declared.
He alleged that the ruling class in Nigeria had no concern for the education of the poor.
According to NAN reports, the lecturers had resolved to sit at home until their demands are met, which include proper funding of the universities.
Other demands include the payment of full salaries by state-owned universities and payment of earned academic allowances, among others.