The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the Federal Government is yet to invite the Union over the ongoing industrial action.
According to Premium Times, Biodun Ogunyemi, President of the union, stated this in a phone interview Sunday evening.
It is recalled that the union embarked on the industrial action a week ago over the poor funding of Nigerian universities, an alleged plan by the FG to increase students’ fees and introduce an education bank.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) also accused the Federal Government of not implementing a 2017 agreement.
“For the Minister, we have memorandum placed before them, but nobody is talking about the items there except to say that they cannot meet the union’s demand because of the oil prices.
“We have submitted the report of a joint committee to the minister; on how to generate funds to address the outstanding balance of N1.3 trillion. It is like the minister is not addressing issues raised and the recommendation in the report,” Ogunyemi stated.
Mr. Ogunyemi said that ASUU is yet to be invited by the government to discuss the industrial action issue.
“They know how to reach us. The minister of education wants us to suspend the strike to allow for negotiations. The chairman of the negotiating committee came yesterday, Wale Babalakin, begging ASUU to come back to negotiating table but the Minister has not addressed the issue we raised and he has been dancing around the issues.
“There are two issues that we’ve raised but by his attitude and actions, it was obvious he didn’t want that. That was why we said we have seen enough.
“Our members remain resolute and the reports we are getting from branches indicate that our members are determined. FG cannot continue to handle education with levity which is the focus for the development of any country. We cannot continue to pretend that we have education when our universities are in terrible condition,” Ogunyemi said.
Mr. Ogunyemi also stated that the strike has so far been successful across campuses except for few vice chancellors.
“We have report of one or two crises where the vice chancellors are trying to give us problems. Like Adekunle Ajasin University which the VC threatened to sack our members and we tried to tell him to go ask from history,” he said.
However, Wale Babalakin (SAN), Chairman, Federal Government/ASUU 2009 Agreement Renegotiation Committee has debunked allegations that his team suggested a fee hike in universities. The Senior Advocate called for the suspension of the industrial action.
I am Olamide George Nneka, a graduate of Mass Communication from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria. Reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org