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JUST IN: Tension as ASUU NEC holds final meeting on strike

There is tension among students of Nigerian universities over the expected outcome of an ongoing meeting by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The PUNCH had reported that the meeting is expected to make a decision on an impending strike.

The PUNCH gathered that members of the National Executive Council of ASUU are currently meeting.

The NEC comprises national, zonal officers, and branch chairpersons.

When contacted, the Chairperson of OAU ASUU, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, said the final decision has not been reached as of 08.50 pm.

“Nothing to confirm now,” he replied while stating that the strike has not been announced.

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The union had expressed grievances over the failure of the Federal Government to fulfill some of the agreements it made as far back as 2009. ASUU had on November 15, 2021 given the federal government a three-week ultimatum over the failure to meet the demands.

The lecturers threatened to embark on another round of industrial action following the alleged “government’s unfaithfulness” in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union, leading to the suspension of the 2020 strike action.

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After the union’s National Executive Council meeting at the University of Abuja on November 13 and 14, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, lamented that despite meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on October 14, 2021, on issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment, none of its demands had been met.

Following the threat, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, promised that the union would be paid.

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A few weeks after, ASUU suspended the planned strike, as N22.1 billion earned allowances were paid to lecturers in federal universities.

On the heels of the union’s renewed agitations, the co-chairmen of the National Inter-religious Council, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar III, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, visited the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last month, over the lack of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding the government signed with ASUU in 2009 and others.

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