Committee pleads with ASUU to suspend industrial action

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is meeting to review its six-month-old strike. 

Sunday’s meeting started in the evening and the union, which has been involved in a protracted industrial dispute, is expected to make a decision about the strike.

Despite several meetings between the Federal Government and members of the union, ASUU has not backed down on its demands.

Two weeks ago, a meeting between the government and ASUU ended in a deadlock. The varsity teachers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission in Abuja.

While they were hopeful of a positive outcome, a senior member of the union told Channels Television that the Briggs renegotiation committee did not come up with a new offer.

The source, who pleaded anonymity, claimed that the committee pleaded with ASUU to suspend the industrial action, promising that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget. That meeting lasted about three hours.

The university teachers began a four-week warning strike on February 14. It extended it by eight weeks just after one month so the government can meet the union’s demands.

But on May 9, the lecturers extended it by 12 weeks. ASUU is seeking improved welfare, the revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy among others.

On Sunday, Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, called on the Federal Government to sign the renegotiated agreement with ASUU.

“Instead of engaging in the diversionary tactics of blackmailing ASUU the Federal Government should ensure that the strike is called off by signing the Renegotiated Agreement with ASUU without any further delay,” Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said in a statement.

“While calling on both sides to resume the negotiations in the interest of the country the Federal Government should be prevailed upon to end the prolonged industrial action.”

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