The six-month ASUU strike, from all indications, seems not to be ending soon, as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has officially called on all parents and guardians whose wards are in government-owned tertiary institutions to plead with the ASUU body to call off this ongoing strike.
At the very beginning, when the academic union declared a nationwide warning strike that commenced on Monday, February 14, 2022, many believed that the strike won’t last for 30 days, but the odds have long been beaten, and the strike has lingered till date.
The major reason why lecturers started this strike, is because their demands are yet to be met by the government. The striking lecturers are demanding the following, which include:
- The release of the revitalization funds for universities,
- Release of earned allowances for university lecturers,
- Deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers,
- Renegotiation of the ASUU-Federal Government 2009 agreement,
- These are the major demands from the striking union, among a few others.
However, there have been various meetings between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal government has ended in deadlocks. However, the President of the Federation, President Buhari on July 19th, gave the Minister of Education two weeks (14 days) to resolve the crisis and allow students back into the classroom. The ultimatum ended on Thursday, August 4th. We are currently waiting to see what happens next.
While speaking on Channels TV this evening, 5th August, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN disclosed that Nigeria government had done its best and appealed to parents to “beg” ASUU to call off the lingering strike.
“The moment the union went on strike, we intervened and tried doing everything possible to ensure they call off the strike, what is the manner again beyond that? Even before the ASUU body started the strike, the federal government called them to a meeting, what manner is more than that? It’s not like we left them to go on strike first and we were sleeping, as the talk started between the federal government and the union, they still went on strike.
You can not allow one sector of the economy to hold you down and then blackmail you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion, and let us not quickly forget that our total income is around N6.1 trillion and we have roads to build, health centres and other sectors to take care of as a nation.
I am using this platform to notify parents, and every well-meaning Nigerian affected by this strike, to go and beg ASUU like the President said the other time, those who know them should appeal to their sense of patriotism and let them call off the strike. The nation can not ground to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU” The Minister said.
What do you think? Should ASUU call off the 6-month-old strike or remain adamant till the federal government met all their demands?