The Academic Staff Union of Universities has revealed that the union may join the Nigeria Labour Congress in the ongoing industrial action which means all academic activities in all public Universities across Nigeria will be put on hold.

This was disclosed by the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU in Owerri, Prof Uzo Onyebinama at a press conference which was held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

Prof Uzo Onyebinama while explaining why ASUU might join the strike, stated that the strike is not sponsored by any political party, he also disclosed that the Federal Government has failed to honour its 2009 agreement with the union on the welfare of members and the revitalization of public universities across Nigeria.

Below is an extract of Prof Uzo Onyebinama’s statement at the press conference;

“You will recall that the 2009 FGN —ASUU Agreement made provision for the re-negotiation of the Agreement every three (3) years.

“Consequently, the first renegotiation of the Agreement should have been in 2012. This was not to be. The first renegotiation of the Agreement commenced in March 2017.

“As we speak now, the renegotiation exercise has broken down since May 2018 (after 14months), due largely to the deliberate tactics adopted by the leader of the Government Team, Dr. Wale Babalakin, to scuttle the renegotiation, by jettisoning the principle of collective bargaining and the gains of previous agreements, memorandum of understanding and memorandum of action.

“In addition, the government team insisted that education ought to be funded from ‘diverse sources’ and consequently proposed the establishment of an Education Bank and a Students’ Loan Scheme.”

It will be recalled that ASUU announced their rejection of the N20bn fund which was offered by Federal Government earlier this week and demanded that government honour the agreement between ASUU and the Federal G.overnement.

The Union urged the Federal Government to take more resolute steps in solving problems being encountered by State Universities and some Federal Universities such as issues of proliferation of universities, underfunding of state universities, undue interference in the administration of state universities, and the non-implementation of various components of the 2009 Agreement in many state Universities to void another indefinite strike action across all Nigerian public Universities.

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