On the 9th of March 2020, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) initiated a strike action as a result of the federal government’s failure to pay lecturers who were not registered on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform, as well as other agreed demands. Several meetings have been held in an attempt to reach another agreement but no positive results have come out of these meeting so far.
In a tweet published on its official Twitter handle on the 20th of May, ASUU expressed its readiness to speak with the federal government on certain demands attached to its reason for embarking on a national strike in order to reach a consensus.
The union president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, announced that the union is ready for negotiations, but the suspension of the strike depends on how the federal government responds to its key demands. In the tweet, he relayed that these demands include: earned academic allowances, re-vitalisation, presidential visitation, panel to federal universities, and proliferation of universities by state governors.
Professor Ogunyemi noted that the way forward begins with dialogue.
“We should talk. The government should open a space for discussion as we are ready to discuss and make concrete agreements on those demands made, as the establishment of universities has been turned into constituency projects. The final issue I will raise is about renegotiation which we have been on for more than three years, and a stop must be put to it. When you put all these five issues together, you will see that we had a genuine reason to go on strike, and if the government won’t put an end to it with prejudice to what we are doing to support the health sector, we will continue to do that.”
Reacting to the statement by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, that lecturers should reciprocate the olive branch which the government has offered in paying their salaries while on strike, Ogunyemi said salaries were not part of issues being negotiated.
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