Education

ASUU declares Monday lecture-free day, prepares for strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has declared Monday lecture-free in all institutions where it has members.

The National President of the Union, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, explaining the reason for the decision said it was to sensitize the public on the situation between ASUU and the federal government.

This move however indicates the Union might have been preparing for another strike and this time would prefer the public reason along with it following the sensitisation.

Multiple circulars issued by the various branches of the union announcing the decision, noted that the lecture-free day will be used to sensitise the university communities and the general public on the failure of the government to honour an agreement the parties entered into in December 2020, and which led to the suspension of a nine-month prolonged strike then.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier said the Federal Government remains committed to honouring promises made to ASUU.

This the President said was to prevent disruptive strikes, engender uninterrupted academic programmes and improve funding of education institutions.

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The President made the pledge when he received members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by the Co-Chairs, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, in Abuja on Tuesday.

He commended the leadership of NIREC for intervening in the year-long strike by ASUU and holding consultations with the parties.

According to him, no society which wishes itself well neglects its educational system and all its component parts.

Buhari urged  NIREC that in its subsequent consultations with members of ASUU, it was important that they shared with them,  that government regarded  them and the service they provided to the nation very highly.

The last national strike by ASUU was in March 2020 and lasted till December when the Memorandum of Action (MoA) was signed.

However, a year after signing the MoA, ASUU accused the government of failing to fulfil its side of the bargain and threatened to mobilise for another strike immediately.

The government quickly moved to pay N55 billion as part-payment for the Earned Academic Allowance and Revitalisation Fund, but the union was unmoved until the Nigerian Inter-religious Council (NIREC) and other dignitaries waded in.

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