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Lecturers Shut Down Universities Nationwide

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Lecturers Shut Down Universities Nationwide

By Dipo Olowookere

Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday embarked on an indefinite industrial action to press home their demands.

The outstanding issues with the Federal Government, according to ASUU, include payment of fractions/non-payment of salaries; non-payment of earned academic allowances, non-release of operational license of NUPEMCO; non-implementation of the provisions of the 2014 pension reform act with respect to retired professors and their salaries, removal of universities staff schools from funding by government and funds for the revitalisation of public universities.

The lecturers said they were not happy with the way Federal Government has neglected them by not honouring an agreement reached with them in 2009.

This was echoed by the National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, while addressing newsmen at the Labour House, Abuja.

“Our members across the country were getting increasingly frustrated, distracted and disenchanted. It became evident that their patience had been tasked beyond reasonable limits and government’s insensitivity imposed severe burden on the leadership of the union.

“Consequently, based on a nationwide consultation with our members, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU rose on Saturday, August 12, 2017 with a resolution to embark on an indefinite strike action starting from Sunday, August 13, 2017,” he said.

He stressed that, “The nationwide action is total and comprehensive. During the strike, there shall be no teaching, no examination and no attendance of statutory meetings of any kind in any of our branch.”

ASUU said in 2013, it embarked on a six month strike and the action was suspended when government signed an MoU with the union.

However, it lamented that, “Of all the items contained in the MoU, only the N200 billion out of a total of N1.3 trillion of the Public Universities Revitalisation (Needs Assessment) fund was released.”

Mr Ogunyemi further recalled that in November 2016, the union also embarked on a one week warning strike to press for the implementation of the 2013 MoU.

But he said government did not implement the understanding reach between both parties based on the intervention by the leadership of Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The union has also met with the 2009 Agreement Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) and had written several letters press releases and communiqués on the outstanding issues to no avail.

“The National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU then met at the University of Abuja on August 12, 2017 to consider the result of a referendum from all branches in a bid to ascertain ways of convincing government to implement outstanding aspects of the 2009 and the MoU of 2013,” the ASUU leader said.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Education

Consider Plight of Students and Suspend Strike—Buhari Begs ASUU

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plight of students ASUU

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been urged to consider the plight of students and suspend the ongoing strike.

Speaking at the 19th National Productivity Day in Abuja on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari said efforts are being made to resolve the lingering issues between the union and the federal government.

ASUU had earlier embarked upon a two-month warning to force the government to honour the agreement signed in 2009 but after nothing was done, it extended the industrial action for another three months.

At the conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM) on 48 eminent Nigerians and organisations in both the public and private sectors, for their high productivity, hard work and excellence, President Buhari disclosed that his administration recognises that the future of any nation is contingent on the standard of its educational system, promising to uplift the standard of the educational system in the country.

According to him, he earlier directed his Chief of Staff, the Ministers of Labour and Employment, Education, Finance, Budget and National Planning to immediately bring all parties to the negotiation table to again critically look at the grey areas in the demands of ASUU.

Mr Buhari expressed optimism that all the issues would be resolved, appealing to the lecturers to exercise patience. He also urged students in Nigeria’s public tertiary institutions to give the government time to address the nagging issues in the nation’s university system within the ambit of the resources available.

While speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration, Achieving Higher Productivity through Improved Education System, the President disclosed that efforts would be made to “transform Nigeria into a competitive, strong, vibrant, productive and sustainable economy.”

“Quality educational system is good not just for the national economy; it is also good for the citizens,” he disclosed, emphasising that, “Ignoring the productivity dimension of education would endanger the prosperity of future generations, with widespread repercussions for poverty and social exclusion.”

According to him, “It will be difficult to improve our economic performance and overall productivity, without improving our educational system.”

He stated that the administration was aware of “the emergency situation in our educational system with particular reference to the dearth of qualified and dedicated teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at all levels of our educational system.”

Some of the awardees were the late Dr Stella Adadevoh and Mr Babatunde Lawal.

Other were recipients the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abdullahi Adamu; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; immediate past Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chike Ihekweazu; Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi; Chairman and Founder, BUA Group, Mr Abdusamad Rabiu; Chairman of Globacom, Mr Mike Adenuga Jnr; Professor Stanley Okolo, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and Allen Onyema, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, among others.

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Education

Oyo Directs Schools to Resume Teaching of History

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teaching of History oyo State

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

All public primary schools in Oyo State have been directed by the state government to immediately implement the teaching of History as an independent subject from this term (3rd term) of the 2021/2022 academic session.

The Executive Chairman of the Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr Nureni Adeniran, disclosed that the return of the subject to the curriculum would enable pupils to appreciate History as an instrument of national integration, adding that it would allow students to know the history of the country.

Speaking during the monitoring schools’ resumption in Ibadan, applauded the massive turnout of pupils in public primary schools,

He disclosed that the reintroduction of History is in line with the new education policy of the state government, applauding the leadership of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in Abuja for the technical support received, as well as the supply of textbooks.

Mr Adeniran said over 4,950 History textbooks are being distributed to public primary schools state-wide, adding that this will give pupils a proper understanding of the nation’s history.

The education expert said he was optimistic that the curriculum would equip the younger generations with the knowledge of the past, saying that the importance of history to nation building, patriotism and human development cannot be overemphasized.

Meanwhile, he equally appreciated the Heads of Public Primary schools across the state who have commenced academic activities immediately, saying the idleness of teachers or pupils would not be tolerated.

Mr Adeniran, who continued the monitoring exercise alongside other members of the board expressed satisfaction with the situation they met at some schools visited, compared to the turnout of pupils last week.

The Chairman, however, called on other parents, whose children are yet to return to school to kindly ensure they do so without hesitation, as academic activities have commenced.

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Education

ASUU Extends Ongoing Strike by Three Months

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ASUU Suspends Strike

By Adedapo Adesanya

The ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been extended by additional 12 weeks (three months) after the two-month warning strike expired.

This was disclosed by the president of the union, Mr Emmanuel Osodeke on Monday.

In a statement he issued after an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the association at the University of Abuja, the ASUU president said the decision was to give the government enough time to resolve all outstanding issues with the lecturers.

“After extensive deliberations, noting the government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues,” the ASUU president’s statement read.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022,” he added.

ASUU also expressed dissatisfaction with the three-man panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in February to resolve the lingering industrial action.

“NEC was equally disappointed that ASUU’s only meeting with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee did not reflect the expected level of understanding, preparation, and clarity that undergird collective bargaining going by the Committee’s confession of ‘going about consulting stakeholders’, the statement added.

“Unless urgent steps are taken to redirect the Committee on concluding a draft Agreement that has been pending since May 2021, its activities may end up as another wild goose chase,” ASUU said.

The union was also full of commendations for the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), students’ groups, and civil society organisations “who have taken steps towards resolving the current labour dispute with the Nigerian government”.

The planned trip by spouses of vice-chancellors, ASUU said, is despicable and condemnable.

“The advertised five-day conference in Istanbul is a waste of scarce resources of our universities; it is insensitive and provocative, particularly at a time like this when lecturers are denied their salaries for daring to struggle to improve the lot of our public universities,” ASUU maintained.

The extension came days after the Federal Government said it would resume talks with the striking lecturers this week.

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