ASUU Strike: Lecturers reject FG offer of “tokenism”

Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President (Photo: Channels TV)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the offer of the Federal Government made last Tuesday describing it as “tokenism”.

The university lecturers also reiterated earlier demands for the implementation of the 2013 agreement, thereby dashing the hopes of many students that academic activities will resume soon.

Recall that when ASUU’s leadership met with Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, he said the matters that led to the strike by the university teachers was about to be resolved.

According to Ngige, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Ministry of Finance presented evidence that N15.4billion had been released to public universities.

On earned academic allowances, he said President Muhammadu Buhari approved N20billion to offset arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings by university teachers.

However, speaking with Premium Times on Saturday, ASUU president Biodun Ogunyemi, said upon reviewing the offers made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.

“Our members have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They are insisting that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.

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“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.

“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action,” Ogunyemi said. earlier reported that the Council of Higher Institutions (COHI) appealed to ASUU to call off the strike considering the negative effects on the lives of students.

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