ASUU shelves planned strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has shelved its decision to embark on a nationwide strike.

Instead, the Union has decided to go for more consultations and to give government opportunity to address all outstanding issues arising from the December 2020 Memoradum of Action (MoA).

ASUU had last week given a fresh three-week notice to direct its members to embark on strike, after it accused the federal government of blackmail and propaganda.

However, the Union in a statement issued by its president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said it has taken account of efforts by many patriotic Nigerians, within and outside the country, to ensure an amicable resolution of the dispute.

ASUU said it will resist any attempt to blackmail the union and derail its patriotic struggle for a productive University system “by official propaganda founded on tokenism and crumb-sharing.”

The statement which summed up decisions reached at the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU held at its National Secretariat at the University of Abuja, at the weekend, said the union would review the situation at another date.

The meeting was meant to review the level of government’s implementation of the FGN-ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 23rd December, 2020, and other related matters with a view to deciding on way forward.

In deciding to stay action on strike, Osodake said: “NEC took full account of efforts by student union bodies, leading media traditional rulers, civil society organisations and other interest groups within and outside Nigeria to make government address all outstanding issues arising from the December 2020 MoA.”

The ASUU president said the union took special cognisance of the pledges made by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) to make further consultations on the crisis in the coming days with a view to finding an amicable resolution.

He accused the government of reneging on its promise to set up an inter-ministerial committee to handle renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.

On the issue of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), ASUU said it is fully prepared to address all the report of the “integrity test” on UTAS raised by the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to pave way for its deployment.

The statement read in part: “NEC was worried by the spirited efforts of government agents to reduce the demands of ASUU to a regime of intermittent payment of watered-down revitalisation fund and release of distorted and grossly devalued Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

“NEC condemns, in strong terms, the surreptitious moves to pooh-pooh our demands on the review of the NUC’s Act to curb the proliferation of universities by state governments who are not funding the existing ones; adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS) with concurrent discontinuance of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel accumulated promotion arrears.

“NEC concluded that government has failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and subsequent MoUs and MoAs.

“However, considering the ongoing intervention and consultation efforts, NEC resolved to review the situation at a later date with a view to deciding on the next line of action.”

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