Richard Ginika Izuora
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Biodun Ogunyemi, on Sunday, August 23, said the Union will go ahead with its industrial action until the Federal Government addressed all its demands.
Ogunyemi, who stated this during an interactive session with stakeholders at the University of Port Harcourt disclosed that Nigerian university lecturers were still receiving the same salary scale of 2009 in 2020.
He insisted that the sad reality must be addressed before ASUU would suspend its ongoing strike.
According to Ogunyemi, ASUU is demanding the implementation of the findings of the 2012 universities’ needs assessment, adding that the demands were genuine and in the interest of the nation.
The ASUU chief said: “Students who are our children and partners in progress should show understanding, what we are asking from the government is in their interest and the interest of the nation, good hostel accommodation, good classroom blocks that can engender effective learning, laboratories where cutting edge research can be carried out and offices that can drive the process of quality university education.
“So, what we are asking of the government are not baseless things; but those things that in 2012, the government conducted during a needs assessment survey; and found out that there are widespread rot; and decay in the university system. We are asking that the government implements its own report of 2012.”
“Salary issues are still there, we have not fully addressed that; it appears that some forces in government are bent on suffering our members by withholding their salaries.
“But we believe that once we sort out the issues of Universities Transparency and Accountability solutions; other issues will fall in place.
“The 2009 agreement we had with government stipulates that that agreement would be reviewed every three years; but since then, we have not been able to review the salary scale.
“That is why we are saying that the negotiation we started with the government in 2017; ought to have been completed and with the completion of that negotiation process.
“A new salary scale should be in place; and we are insisting that the process is completed before this ongoing strike is suspended among other things.”