The five-day strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues to cause disruptions across universities in Nigeria. The union announced an indefinite strike on September 26, and as of October 1, it has entered its fifth day. Students, lecturers and staff members at universities across the country have protested in support of the union’s demands for better working conditions. However, many students have complained about how the strike is impacting their academic activities and personal lives. The following article answers some common questions about the ASUU strike and will be updated with new information as events continue to unfold. If you have a query that isn’t answered here, leave a comment or send an email to MYJOBTOGO@GMAIL.COM
What are the demands of ASUU?
ASUU has been in negotiations with the Federal Government over the implementation of the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government agreements for several years. The union wants the government to implement a minimum wage for lecturers, release ₦500 billion in funds to increase research facility funding and ease the process of promotion and tenure for lecturers, among other demands. The Federal Government has agreed to most of the union’s demands and has tried to implement them.
Why is ASUU on strike?
ASUU has been on strike for five days, from September 26 to October 1, over the Federal Government’s failure to implement a ₦500 billion investment in research funding as agreed upon in the 2009 National Industrial Dialogue Agreement. The union issued a 14-day ultimatum to government warning that it would call a strike if the funds were not released by the end of September. The Federal Government failed to meet the deadline, and ASUU announced an indefinite strike. The Federal Government has since stated that it intends to release the funds but has not yet announced a date for when this will happen.
Which universities are affected?
The strike has affected dozens of universities across Nigeria. As of October 1, the strike has directly affected 24 institutions and has indirectly affected an additional 29 universities. ASUU has instructed its members to suspend their activities at their home campuses and travels to Abuja to protest with the union. The disruption of academic activities has been the most visible impact of the strike.
What has been the impact of the strike so far?
The strike has had a significant impact on students and lecturers at affected universities. Many students have reported being unable to attend their classes or access their course materials because of the strike. Many students are also unable to pay their tuition or other associated academic fees, which has caused significant financial strain. Many lecturers have also been unable to report to work due to the strike. This has left many students without access to the support that they need to succeed in their studies and complete their coursework. Even if their lecturers are present on campus, many students have reported that their instructors are unable to provide them with the support that they need due to a lack of funding.
Are there any other issues at play?
The ASUU strike is about the implementation of ₦500 billion of research funding as agreed upon in the 2009 National Industrial Dialogue Agreement. However, the Federal Government has also failed to implement ₦100 billion in funding that the country’s National Assembly approved in 2016 in a supplementary budget. The National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have also joined the ASUU strike to protest the government’s failure to implement ₦100 billion of funding that was approved in 2016. These funding issues are just part of a larger political crisis in the country. The National Assembly has been unable to pass the budget for several years because of political gridlock between the ruling party and the opposition. The gridlock has prevented the National Assembly from approving any additional funding.
When will ASUU end its strike?
The ASUU strike is an indefinite action, so the union is expected to continue its strike until it has achieved its goals. ASUU has said that it will end the strike when the Federal Government fulfils its promise to deliver ₦500 billion in research funding. The Federal Government has stated that it intends to release the funds but has not yet announced a date for when this will happen. However, ASUU has also made some other demands of the government, such as the implementation of minimum wages for lecturers and the release of ₦100 billion in supplementary funds for the 2018 budget. The Federal Government has agreed to implement minimum wages, but it has not agreed to release the additional funds. Therefore, the strike may end once the government has delivered on its promise to release ₦500 billion in research funding.
The ASUU strike has had a significant impact on students, lecturers and staff members at universities across Nigeria. The union has continued its strike despite these negative consequences because it wants the government to implement the agreement that it made almost 10 years ago. The ASUU strike is expected to last for the foreseeable future because it is an indefinite action. The Federal Government has committed to implementing the ASUU’s demands, but it will take some time to do so.
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