The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that its ongoing strike will continue.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the union’s president, said this in an exclusive chat with The Punch on Thursday. He stated that until the Federal Government fully implemented all the offers it made to the union after their last meeting, the strike would continue.
He said the union was tired of the government’s habit of making promises and not fulfilling them. He said this had made them insist on seeing tangible evidence and actions before calling off the industrial action.
The National President, ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in an exclusive interview with one of our correspondents in Lagos on Thursday, said the team of the union that met with the government on Tuesday did not reach any agreement with the Federal Government.
The union had met with the Federal Government officials including Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, as well as Chris Ngige, his Labour and Employment counterpart.
Ngige had said the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance had confirmed with evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to public universities.
However, Ogunyemi said:
“As for the proposal, it can be disaggregated. There are items there that require implementation. If they are setting up a committee on state universities, and they actually do, it is not something we need to agree on. It is about action.
“If they have implemented it, it is off the list. If the government says it will pay a shortfall of salaries on a certain date, and the date comes and they release the money, it is also implementation. There is no agreement on the matter.
“On the revitalisation fund, we presented to the government that five tranches of N220 billion each were outstanding. The government has not said it will release one, even if it is spread over a period of one year. There is no agreement on that. What they are offering is not even up to one tranche.
“Last year, they promised to release the fund but they did not till November when the strike began. Long story short, our members are saying they do not want promises again, what they want is action, implementation or disbursement of funds. The government must act in a way to convince the union that agreement has not been set aside; to show that government has not set aside the agreement, they should release one tranche.”
According to him, the proposal from government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 MoA is still fluid and far from expectations.
The bulletin read in part: “Though some progress has been made with respect to discussion with government agents (The Minister of Labour and Employment as well as the Minister of Education), at the moment, the proposal from government towards resolving the demand of ASUU as contained in 2017 MoA and Strike Bulletin 1 is still fluid and far from expectations. Hence, it is the view of the National Strike Coordinating Committee that members should await further developments which are rapidly unfolding.”