NATIONAL president of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, has confirmed that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union will meet tomorrow to decide whether the strike should be called off or extended based on the offers by the Federal Government.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the branches of ASUU nationwide will hold their state congresses on Thursday to gather input from members and come up with a position to be communicated to the headquarters of the union.
However, Osodeke did not say what date the NEC meeting would hold, but sources said it would hold on Sunday.
“We will meet and discuss and let you know the outcome,” Osodeke said in response to a question on the next course of action the union is taking based on the Federal Government’s offer and the expiry of the one-month transfer strike on August 28 .
According to a source, the offers by the Federal Government include 35 percent salary increase as well as the government’s stance on the no-work-no-pay policy under which the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the lecturers will not be paid for about seven months that they are on strike.
The ASUU Coordinator of Port Harcourt Zone, Stanley Ogoun, disclosed that the Federal Government has offered to increase the salaries of professors by N60,000 while other lecturers increase their salaries within the range of N30,000 and N60,000.
He also noted that the government has promised to release the N170 billion revitalization fund which will be included in the 2023 budget.
While the last meeting between the Federal Government team and ASUU leadership was deadlocked over the rejection of the proposed 35 percent salary increase, the disagreement was exacerbated by the comment credited to the Minister of Education that ASUU would not be paid for the months they weren’t. discontinue.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has started the process of registering the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), a splinter group of ASUU, to stand as a separate trade union in public universities in Nigeria.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the group referred to the ministerial committee constituted by the Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, is said to have met all the essential requirements for registration.
National Coordinator of CONUA, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, also confirmed to Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday that his group met with the committee.
Sunmonu recently appealed to the Federal Government to immediately register and recognize it as an academic staff union in the university system in Nigeria. He claimed that it met all the conditions required for it to be so registered by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
Sunmonu further disclosed that when the Association was established in February 2018, the Association applied to the Ministry of Labor and Employment for registration as a trade union and that a ministerial committee was constituted by Ngige in 2020 to investigate the application of the Association .
A top official at the Federal Ministry of Education also confirmed on Tuesday that CONUA has since submitted the application to the government to be recognized as a separate body. Sunmonu, told Nigerian Tribune that he is sure the committee report will be ready, saying the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo, recently in an interview with Arise Television, referred to the Federal Government delaying registration of CONUA out of respect for ASUU.
He quoted Keyamo as saying publicly that CONUA has met all requirements to be registered as a union, “but we don’t know what else is delaying it.” Sunmonu also denied insinuations that the government wanted to use his group to destabilize ASUU.
In a similar development, the Ibadan zone of ASUU on Tuesday said the demands of the union were not self-serving but altruistic.
As contained in a release by its zonal coordinator, Professor Oyebamiji Oyegoke, the union said what it is pushing for is the repositioning of universities for greater effectiveness in national development and technological advancement.
He added that what the union sought was massive and sustained funding for our universities; a reversal of apparent decay in the university system, improved and competitive remuneration for overworked academic staff in Nigerian universities.
He asked Nigerians to join ASUU in asking the Federal Government of Nigeria to follow the path of honor by respecting the agreement it freely entered into with our union. He added that unless Nigerians join ASUU to struggle and deliver publicly funded universities, children of the common man may find it difficult to access quality education.
Oyegoke added that the Ibadan zone has joined the leadership of the union in rejecting what it termed disrespectful and demeaning allocation of money and to reject collective bargaining to arrive at what the federal government presented to the union.