The scheduled meeting on Thursday between striking university lecturers and the federal government may not lead to a compromise as the lecturers insist they will not resume work until the Federal Government completely implements the 2009 agreement it signed with them.
This decision was made known at a press conference organised by the Ibadan Zone of the lecturers union, ASUU, held at the Lagos State University, Ojo, on Wednesday.
“ASUU Ibadan Zone has taken notice of certain reports in the media suggesting that the current strike may be suspended by Thursday 1st August, 2013. We wish to urge that such speculations are uncalled for and the attitude of Government either in the present struggle and the previous ones cannot support such,” said the Zonal Coordinator, Adesola Nassir.
“Our Union have well grounded procedures for calling and suspending strike actions. The developments so far have not necessitated the commencement of such process,” he added.
Mr. Nassir also called on the national leadership of the union to remain steadfast and not to be deceived by antics of the government.
“The demands of the members as sanctioned by the National Executive Council are crystal clear. The 2009 Agreement must be implemented, inclusive of the release of appropriate funds for the so much needed intervention in the upgrading of facilities in our universities,” he said.
The national executive of the union is currently engaged in talks with the federal government. Details from their last meeting suggest the government is asking for a renegotiation of the agreement it signed with the union four years ago.
According to Mr. Nassir, if the government can spend over N3 trillion to rescue ailing banks, it is then a wonder why it “developed cold feet when it comes to public universities” that require far less financial commitment.
In the 2009 Agreement, the government promised to provide fund for revitalising public universities; provide assistance to state universities; establish a Nigerian University Pension Commission, NUPEMCO, and progressively increase the annual budgetary allocation to education to 26 per cent between 2009 and 2020.
Government also promised to pay earned allowances, transfer federal government landed property to universities and to set up research equipment provision to laboratories and classrooms.
ASUU says the government has failed to keep its promises.
The lecturers strike is in its fifth week.
From: Premium Times.