According to the Socialist Workers & Youth League, the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike action has continued as a result of the Federal Government’s alleged unwillingness to prioritize funding for education.
Recall that ASUU began its nationwide strike action since February 14, 2022, making the strike up to 191 days today. In a statement released on Tuesday by its National Chairperson and Secretary, Frances Akinjole and Kevinci Ayemhenre, the organization explained reason for the prolonged duration of the strike as “the FG’s disregard for public education in Nigeria and contempt for collective agreements.”
The statement read, “The ASUU strike action has now lasted for more than 180 days. The only reason why this is the case is because of the Federal Government’s disregard for public education in Nigeria, and contempt for collective agreements.
“The concerns raised by ASUU are issues relating to the need for adequate funding towards the revitalisation of tertiary institutions. These include the demand for 26 per cent of budgetary expenditure to be allocated to the educational sector.
“The lecturers have also stood their grounds against the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System, which among other things contribute to illegal deductions from their pay.
“Instead of addressing the issues raised and implement the long‐standing 2009 or the renegotiated Collective Agreement in line with the subsequent Memorandum of Action, government has resorted to blackmail.
“They have tried to reduce the grouse of lecturers to salaries, throwing the bone of a miserly increment unilaterally arrived at, to bolster government’s blackmail.
“As if that were not enough, government and its cheerleaders are invoking a “no work, no pay” spectre, which government lacks the political or moral right to raise.
“The organisation asked Nigerians in general, particularly youth “not be deceived by the government’s devious machinations,” claiming that the priorities of Nigeria’s ruling class were more of a concern than a shortage of funds for high-quality public tertiary education as desired by ASUU.
“It is imperative to note that a society that does not place premium on education is bound to be faced with the ills and hassles of illiteracy and by extension insecurity, banditry, terrorism and all other vices,” it said. The SWL called on the government to immediately comply with the demands of ASUU.
“We also urge continued popular support for ASUU which has consistently been at the fore of the struggle for education as a right and not a privilege and the fight to win a better society.
“The people must rally around ASUU at this time in our current political epoch and call on the FG to take education as the cornerstone for societal development which is a fundamental right largely enshrined in our constitution.SWL, thus, reiterates its solidarity with ASUU in fighting for the common good of all,” the statement concluded.