The Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) has expressed dismay at the way the Federal Government has continued to treat the agreement it has with the union, while it promptly treated the case of airline operators.
According to ASUU, government officials are sensitive only to matters that concern them.
It thus said there was no going back on its decision to continue with its ongoing strike following Federal Government’s failure to honour the 2009 agreement.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the union took the ‘difficult decision’ after exhausting all avenues available to amicably settle the matter with the Federal Government.
“Let me give you an example, because this is where we are getting it wrong, when the airline operators said they were going to stop the flights, the Senate and House of Representatives quickly stepped in.
“This is because they are affected; they quickly rushed in and addressed the problem, why would they not resolve that of the education sector that is affecting the children of the poor and the ordinary people
“If the government is willing to resolve the issues affecting the Nigerians, then there would be no need to go on strike.
‘“The problem is the will of government to resolve issues,” he said.
As the News Agency of Nigeria recalls, ASUU on Monday extended its roll-over strike which started on Feb. 14 by another 12 weeks.
The striking lecturers’ demands include, funding of the revitalisation of public universities, Earned Academic Allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and promotion arrears.
Others are the renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement and the inconsistency in Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.
Osodeke told NAN that none of these demands had been met by the Federal Government.
“All the issues that made us to go on strike are still there; that is the revitalisation fund, that is putting more money into universities and revitalising the infrastructure in the universities.
“There is also the issue of our mode of payments in the universities. There is no university in the world where lecturers are paid salaries from the Accountant General’s Office.
“We have challenged them to provide one, if universities are universal body, why are they doing things differently.
“We talk of negotiation of agreement, proliferation of universities, among others, so there are lots of issues that they have not resolved,” he told NAN.
The ASUU president also said that government had also refused to accept UTAS that he said had been tested and passed with a scored 99.3 per cent.
Osodeke urged the Federal Government to do the needful in order for students to return to schools.