Anxiety in Nigerian universities as ASUU meets FG today over looming strike

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Some students have expressed concerns over a planned industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, as the union meets the Federal Government Monday (today).

It was reported that the FG through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has scheduled to meet with the leadership of the union over the looming strike action.

Recall that the union had on June 19, threatened to embark on another strike over the alleged deliberate refusal of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, to pay the salaries and remittance of check-off dues of over 1,000 staff for 13 months.

Dr Lazarus Maigoro, the ASUU chairman, the University of Jos who made the revelation in a press statement accused the AGF of fanning the embers of discord between the Federal Government and the Union.

In a move to forestall the imminent industrial action, the Federal Government would meet with the union 2 pm today to look at the unending issues.

Recall that the union had on March 23, 2020, embarked on an industrial action that lasted for over 9 months, the longest of its strike in 10 years over the inability of the Federal Government to address the issues and implement some agreement the two parties entered years ago.

Following the fresh development, some students spoke with a correspondent in DAILY POST to register their grievances over incessant strike actions in Nigerian Universities.

Miss Martha Onuh, a 300 level student of the Benue State University, Makurdi, lamented the current move by ASUU, urging the union to put the interest of the students at heart.

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She said, “After staying at home for a while during the academic calendar year in 2020, you think I will be happy hearing that ASUU may still embark on strike? Sometimes I don’t even care to know who is at fault and who is right. The Federal Government and the union should put our interests at heart.

“I applied for 4 years course, this is my 5th year in the university yet I’m in 300 level. It’s bad,” she said.

Similarly, James Onome, a final year student of the University of Nigeria, Nnsuka in a chat with our correspondent, appealed to both parties to find a means of settling their differences without industrial action.

“Most times, ASUU would say that they are fighting for the benefit of the students but at the end, the students who they claim that they are fighting for are the ones losing.

Is there no other way for a union to register its grievances without a strike action? The incessant industrial action by the union, to me, has crippled Nigerian universities,” he added.

Also, a Master’s Degree student at the University of Abuja, Adebayo Micheal urged the Federal Government and ASUU to settle their differences once and for all.

He said, “We can not be talking about strikes every year. It’s quite shameful that our education system is never stable. I think even if it would take them one whole year to settle their differences and end it forever, it would be better for the students”.

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