Newsonline has compiled the latest ASUU news on the current strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), a Nigerian union of university academic staff.
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Below is the latest Asuu strike update, asuu latest news on resumption and ASUU strike news today, Thursday, 29 September 2022, compiled by Newsonline Nigeria.
Fresh Facts have emerged on why the Federal Government quickly reversed its order to the various university management to reopen public universities amid the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
It had asked the Vice-Chancellors of universities “to ensure that the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) resume and commence lectures immediately.”
However, it later issued another directive withdrawing its earlier circular.
Newsonline Nigeria gathered that the opinion leaders and other stakeholders interested in resolving the face-off between the ASUU and the government mounted pressure on government requesting that the circular, earlier sent to mandate the reopening of the universities, be withdrawn.
A senior official in the Ministry of Education, who didn’t want his name mentioned, disclosed that “the circular was withdrawn to allow for more negotiation between the government and the ASUU following the ongoing invention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives”.
Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, Monday afternoon, withdrew its circular which ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors and governing councils to re-open federal universities.
This online reliable newspaper had earlier reported that a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice-chancellors; pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.
But in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which was also signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.
Though it did not explain why. The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022, on the above
Federal Government through the National Universities Commission has ordered vice-chancellors to re-open schools and allow students to resume lectures with immediate effect.
This was made known in a letter signed by the Director, Finance and Accounts of the NUC, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.
The letter which was made exclusively available to NewsOnline Nigeria on Monday was addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.
“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses”, the letter partly reads.
Newsonline reports that the national industrial court of Nigeria on Wednesday ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.
ASUU had been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.
Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.
The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The counsel to the Federal Government James Igwe on Wednesday prayed the court to order the striking varsity lecturers to in the interim, return to work, pending the determination of the substantive suit before the court.
He maintained that the matter was not only urgent, but of a great national interest as millions of students have been at home for over seven months.
The Federal Ministry of Education on Monday claimed that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) has hindered the payment of bursary to students of education in universities.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Andrew Adejo, made this known during the 2022 World Teachers Day press briefing held in Abuja.
Recall that President Buhari had 2021 promised to release bursaries to students studying education in universities and colleges of education.
“Undergraduates of B.Ed/B.A. Ed/BSc. Ed in Public institutions are to receive stipends of N75,000.00 per semester while NCE students will get N50,000.00 as stipends per semester.
“Federal Government should find the modality through which respective states’ governments could provide automatic employment for NCE graduates at Basic Education level,” Buhari had said through his minister of education, Adamu Adamu.
Speaking to the press, Adejo said, “The implementation of the payment of stipends has commenced.
However, due to the strike, we have not been able to get the data of all the students in universities. We only have 7 per cent of the required data to be processed for payment.”
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, says it will appeal the order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) asking its members to call off the seven-month-long strike.
The University of Abuja chapter chairman of ASUU, Dr Kasim Umar, stated this while reacting to the order by the court in Abuja.
Umar revealed that the national executive Council of ASUU will meet today to conclude modalities on the appeal process.
Meanwhile, the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed, has advised the federal government to apply caution in handling the crisis with the union.
Professor Osedeke said it was regrettable that the Federal government wants to force the university lecturers back to class without addressing the challenges affecting the education sector.
He said the implication of the court ruling and the action of the President Buhari-led Federal government is that more brain drain will hit the country as many lecturers will leave the country for other democratic nations.
Osedeke who stated this on Wednesday in a live interview on Channels TV programme added that the last time the then military government applied force in solving an industrial dispute between ASUU and the government was catastrophic.
He said, “Let me tell you the catastrophe of what has just happened. The last time this happened was during the military era.
Nigeria’s students body also passed a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Works, Raji Fashola and the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
NANS said lamented that the Federal government has shown that it cared less about the plight of the students who have been at home for seven months and counting.
NANS made this known in Akure, Ondo State capital on Saturday in a press briefing, stating that their intention to ground all airports in the country is to affect the decision makers who have refused to settle ASUU for the sake of the Nigerian students.
The students’ body said the four-day closure of highways and expressways was a success, which is why they decided to stop international travel beginning on September 19, 2022, to affect government functionaries from engaging in international travel.
Catholic Bishops also condemned the resort to court actions by the Federal government instead of finding an out-of-court solution.
This was disclosed in a communique issued at the end of the Second Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the Sacred Heart Pastoral/Retreat Centre, Orlu, Imo State, 8 – 16 September, 2022.
Part of the communique read: “The protracted strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since 14 February 2022 is unacceptable. ASUU has cited the non-implementation of agreements by the Federal Government as the cause. We know that efforts have been made to resolve the matter.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it will only end its ongoing strike that has entered the seventh month only when a concrete agreement has been reached with the Federal Government.
President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said this in Abuja on Thursday at a National Town Hall Meeting on Tertiary Education tagged: ‘The Locked gates of our citadels -A National emergency’ organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, Save Public Education Campaign.
The ASUU President said the union was willing to end its seven-month-old strike, urging the Federal government to return to the negotiation table.
The union embarked on industrial action on Feb.14, making it over seven months since public universities across the country were closed down.
After a breakdown in negotiations, the Federal Government dragged ASUU to the National Industrial Court in an attempt to end the strike.
ASUU President said: “On all these issues, we have given the government a minimum that we can accept, but they have not responded on the issue of revitalisation, on the issue of earned allowance and on issues that we have all discussed.
Federal Government has dragged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the National Industrial Court over the union’s prolonged strike action which is about 7 months old.
This disclosure is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Head, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, who said that the Federal Government took the decision after its dialogue with the ASUU leadership failed.
Oshundun in the statement said that the referral instrument in the trade dispute between the federal government and ASUU dated September 8, 2022, was addressed to the Registrar of the Industrial Court and signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.
The Federal Government in the case which it seeks accelerated hearings, wants the National Industrial Court to order ASUU members to resume work, while the issues in dispute are being addressed by the court.
National Industrial Court has adjourned the case between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to September 16.
Justice Polycap Hamman adjourned the matter to enable both parties to file the necessary papers for the suit.
The Head of Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, had revealed that the matter was referred to the Registrar of National Industrial Court by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, following which the government approached the court requesting an order for ASUU to resume while the dispute is being addressed.
Mega Screen, a once bubbling area at the temporary site of the University of Abuja is currently like a ghost town, it has been like that since February.
The students, who are the main lifeblood of this area, are currently at home waiting for news on when the strike will be over.
Alhaji Bagudu and many other petty traders, Mai Suya, Mai Shai and others are equally waiting for news on the call-off of the strike as the businesses depend on the students.
“In February, when the strike was declared, some of the students stayed, hoping it’s going to be a short strike. After a while, most left. Right now, it is pointless opening the shops. Some days, you don’t even make enough to cover transport,” Mr Bagudu said.
While attention has been on the plight of students, the entire university ecosystem goes beyond students and staff of the university, as several businesses depend on the university community to sustain.
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has called on the Federal Government to resolve, within a few working days, the lingering Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, strike.
This was disclosed in a press statement issued by the NANS’s factional President, Umar Faruk Lawal, at Abuja, on Thursday.
Lawal said Nigerian students’ patience has been stretched beyond limits, following the effect of the industrial action by ASUU.
the federal government has announced an upward review of the salaries of lecturers in universities with a 35 percent increment for professors, and a 23.5 percent increment for lecturers below the rank of professors.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday, September 6, at a meeting with vice-chancellors and other stakeholders in the university system.
The minister further stated that the 2023 budget will make provision for the sum of N150 billion and N50 billion as funds for the revitalization of Federal Universities and the payment of outstanding areas of earned academic allowances, respectively. The funds is be paid to the institutions in the first quarter of the year.
However, the leadership of ASUU and three other university unions who had been on strike rejected the offer, describing it as ”inadequate”.
According to the unions, the projected increment cannot meet their respective demands needed to tackle the challenges confronting the university system. A source close to the academic body also revealed that the union is seeking over a 100 percent increase in salaries.
Federal Government has called for the promotion of policies and actions that would discourage strikes in Nigerian universities.
FG said that Chairmen of University Councils and Senates must rise up to their responsibilities as the highest decision-making bodies on campuses by ensuring good working conditions for all staff of the university.
This was contained in a statement by the Federal Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday, in Abuja, while addressing vice-chancellors and pro-chancellors of federal universities at the National Universities Commission.
Mallam Adamu Adamu said he did wished he would end issues of strike in the country’s education sector as Education Minister, but events surrounding ASUU strike have made it impossible.
Adamu stated this on Tuesday in an address to vice-chancellors and pro-chancellors of federal universities at the National Universities Commission in Abuja.
Adamu said, “For me, the past two weeks have been a very dark period of personal anguish and internal turmoil. I used to deceive myself that in a climate of frankness, and with mutual goodwill, it will fall to my lot to bring an end to the incessant strikes in the education sector.
Onanuga said the leadership should have known that the agreement they had with the Federal government was under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration and not in All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari’s administration.
Onanuga stated this in an interview session with a national daily, Punch on the chances of Tinubu’s candidacy ahead of the 2023 general election.
The TCO director of media and communication said ASUU strike will not have effect on the chances of Bola Tinubu becoming president in 2023 because the issues of the strike and the agreements were inherited and not created by the APC.
He said, “Who created the ASUU crisis? Buhari inherited the ASUU crisis. In fact, the agreement that caused the strike was done under the PDP administration. They agreed to it just to pacify ASUU, perhaps to get their votes, but Buhari has tried to implement many of the provisions in the agreement because the government is a continuum. He has tried to implement it, but ASUU keeps shifting the goalpost. The government is still not folding its hands. They have been talking to them and making them see the benefits of what the government can do to improve university education.
“Looking at ASUU’s position to extend the strike, the government has decided to meet them and assuage their worries. Maybe they are doing it for political reasons.”