The Oasis Reporters
February 8, 2019
Nigerian university campuses are expected to become a beehive of activities, Friday, February 8, 2019 as the lingering three month old strike has just been suspended with effect from midnight.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi announced the suspension after a two-hour long closed door meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ASUU had embarked on strike on November 4, 2018 over its demands for revitalisation of universities, academic earned allowances, issuance of Universities Pension Management Company and other issues.
According to him, after government proposals for addressing all outstanding issues in the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA), NEC resolved to suspend the strike.
“The strike is suspended conditionally with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Friday, February 8.
“However, should Government fail to fulfil its part of the agreement as reflected in the 2019 Memorandum of Action, ASUU shall resume its suspended strike as the union deems it necessary,” he said.
In his address, the minister said eight areas of disagreements were discussed and resolved by the two parties.
According to him, we have dealt with all the eight contending issues and some of them have been implemented.
“ASUU has license for the Universities Pension Management Company on January 28, 2018.
“On the issue of salary shortfall in the universities, the Federal Government has released N16 Billion, out of which N15.384 billion is for universities, while the rest is for other tertiary institutions.
“The Vice-Chancellors have acknowledged the receipt of the funds.
“We also have the issue of a committee to liaise with state government-owned universities, ASUU and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education. That committee was inaugurated two weeks ago.
“The visitation panel has been constituted and will commence work on March 2, 2019.
“On the issue of earned allowances, the Federal Government has released N20 Billion for the payment to all categories of university staff.
“For the earned academic allowance, the Federal Government has released N25 Billion and for the revitalisation fund, a total of
issue of earned allowances, the Federal Government has released N20billion for the payment to all categories of university staff.
“For the earned academic allowance, the Federal Government has released N25billion and for the revitalisation fund, a total of N25billion will be released in the period between April and May 2019.
“The Federal Government will also resume full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into in 2019,” he said.
Dr. Chris Ngige commended ASUU for its patience and understanding.
Meanwhile, it was observed that not all Nigerian universities joined in the three month old strike. Academic programs continued at many of them, notably the University of Ilorin, Kwara state in North Central Nigeria that usually has its own aversion to strikes that disrupt the academic calendar.
Newer universities like the Federal Government University, Oye – Ekiti, The Petroleum University in Warri, Delta State as well as a couple of others absented themselves from the strike action.
NAN and other agencies reports.