Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives (2nd right); Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU; and Other Officials of the Academic Union During a Recent Towards Ending the Strike

Nigerian universities resume as ASUU suspends 8-month-old strike

*Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, appreciates interventions of President Muhammadu Buhari, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and other Nigerians, as he directs all members of the Union to ‘resume all services hitherto withdrawn with effect from 12:01p.m. on Friday, 14th October, 2022’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to months of altercations, standoffs and intrigues between the Federal Government and the academics, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suspended its eight-month-old industrial action with a condition

A member of the Union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had disclosed this positive development Friday, October 14, 2022, following series of meetings over the eight-month-old strike.

Recall that ASUU commenced strike since February 14 this year over contending issues with the government.

However, the University lecturers decided to suspend the industrial action during a meeting of its leadership that started Thursday night and lasted into the early hours of Friday.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, in a statement issued Friday, said the decision followed a series of appeals by Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the intervention of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, in Abuja, FCT.

Prof. Osodeke stated: “While appreciating the commendable efforts of the leadership of the House of Representatives and other patriotic Nigerians who waded into the matter, NEC noted with regrets that the issues in dispute are yet to be satisfactorily addressed.

“However, as a law-abiding Union and in deference to appeals by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and in recognition of the efforts of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and other well-meaning Nigerians, ASUU NEC resolved to suspend the strike action embarked upon on 14th February, 2022.

Nigerian university students receiving a lecture before the strike

“Consequently, all members of ASUU are hereby directed to resume all services hitherto withdrawn with effect from 12:01 on Friday, 14th October 2022.”

It was learnt the academic Union had convened the strategic meeting in order to determine its next line of action after its state branches met over the latest Court of Appeal’s ruling.

Prior to the meeting and decision to suspend the strike, the Court of Appeal last week ordered ASUU to suspend the industrial action before its appeal of the ruling ordering lecturers to resume work could be heard.

Members of the union’s National Executive Committee, which comprises the Chairmen of the State Chapters and members of the National Executive, attended the meeting at the ASUU National Secretariat in Abuja, FCT.

The contending issues

It is recalled that ASUU has been on strike since February 14 this year.

When the lecturers began the strike – initially a four-week industrial action – ASUU said it was pushing for better funding of universities as well as improved welfare for its members based on several deals reached with the government.

ASUU was particularly asking for the release of the revitalisation funds for schools, the payment of earned academic allowances to members, and the release of white papers from the reports of the presidential visitation panels.

It also demanded the usage of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a payment platform for university workers as against the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

Following the Federal Government and ASUU’s inability to reach a deal, the union kept extending the industrial action before making it indefinite in August.

In the wake of the tussle, the Federal Government registered two factional unions –  the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).

Nonetheless, ASUU had said it was not bothered about the government’s move, as the academic union described the factional bodies as “illegal”.

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