25th September, 2018
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it will not back down in its efforts to sanitise the university system in the country, especially in the area of the welfare of its members.
The National President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi disclosed this on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to him, no meaningful development will be achieved if the government fails to put issues concerning education in the front burner for global reckoning and competitiveness.
The unionist said that government’s disposition to the development of education in the country, especially the university system, was becoming worrisome.
Ogunyemi said reneging on agreements government willfully entered into with ASUU had remained a major setback to the union’s efforts in taking the system to its deserved height.
“We are very saddened at the way the government is handling the various agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it has entered into with us.
“We have remained focused and committed on our part to ensure that we keep our own side of the bargain, just as we have equally been patient.
“Now, in the face of all this, we still discover that government seems not bothered about what might happen, and that is why we are stating categorically that we will not hesitate to take necessary action to get the government to understand us in our struggle to revitalise our universities.
“It is on this premise that we are calling on the government to take immediate and active steps to restore the much-needed sanity in our university system as well as the process of renegotiation with the union, to avert any possible action that could disrupt the academic calendar of Nigerian universities,’’ he said.
He said that just like the Nigeria Labour Congress, the union would not be held accountable for any action it may take, should the government fail to do the needful.
According to him, the NLC had been calling on the government to improve the wages of Nigerian workers, having reached several agreements with it, which he said, is similar to that of ASUU.”
He said that development of any country could only be achieved when the necessary things are put in place.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of the ASUU, Prof. Olusiji Sowande, has called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on government to sincerely fulfill its promises.
He said this was to avoid another round of crisis in the country’s university system.
Sowande made the appeal at a news conference on Tuesday in Lagos, as part of efforts at sensitising the general public on the travails of members of the union.
“Our members are extremely agitated and are ready to use all legitimate means to compel the government to do the needful.
“Our expectations, therefore, are that there will be an immediate reconstitution of the current government renegotiation team to allow for a less fixated chairman of the ASUU/Government renegotiation team and a speedy completion of the exercise,’’ he said.