Why we won’t call off strike — ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the weekend said it would continue to sustain the ongoing strike until the Federal Government addresses all its demands.

Speaking at the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said the government must first implement the report of the need assessment it conducted in 2012.

Ogunyemi, who spoke during ASUU’s interactive session with critical stakeholders to enlighten public on the struggles of union, said their demands were genuine and in the interest of the nation.

He said students would be the major beneficiaries of their demands and appealed to them to show understanding.

He said: “Students who are our children and partners in progress should show understanding, what we are asking from the government are 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 is widespread rot and decay in the university system. We are asking that the government implement its own report of 2012.”

Ogunyemi lamented lecturers were still receiving the same salary scale of 2009 in 2020, vowing if such issues were not addressed, the strike would continue.

He said: “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 Solution, 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 and that is why we are saying that the negotiation we started with 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.”

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