Editorial

ASUU’s Incessant Strikes

THE incessant strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has not abated as the union is at the moment maintaining a hard stance on its unresolved problems and is set for another strike.

ASUU had signed a Memorandum of Action, MOA, with the federal government after the March 23, 2020 strike over earned allowance and university revitalization funds among others, all of which have not been attended to till date.

TO avert the impending industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the House of Representatives recently urged the federal government to honour its agreement with the body and pay lecturers.

TO consolidate on the move, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila invited the Minister of Finance, that of Education and the President of ASUU for an interface.

IT is a pity that in spite of the over 22 years of civilian administration in Nigeria, no succeeding administration has been able to find a lasting solution to the recurrence of strikes by university teachers.

THERE is no doubting the fact that one of the major causes of educational backwardness in this country is incessant strikes by the university lecturers, which are always precipitated by disagreement between government and teachers.

FOR instance, strikes greatly disrupted the universities academic calendar during the days of the military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retd). The situation degenerated from bad to worse during the regime of another despot, the late General Sani Abacha. We also experienced ASUU strike when the then President Olusegun Obansajo failed to implement the agreement reached with university teachers.

IN a similar vein, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua clashed with ASUU and another strike ensued while President Goodluck Jonathan, an academic also faced the same situation.

IT is so unfortunate that the history of ASUU’s industrial action is about to repeat itself in Nigeria when we are optimistic that President Muhammdu Buhari who was democratically elected will end the trend.

AS a newspaper, we suggest that government should henceforth, carry ASUU along in its policy making process, including budgeting and the implementation of such. There is also, the dire need for good working relationship among Ministry of Labour, Education and ASUU which for now appears lacking.

FURTHERMORE, government should always ensure sincerity in its dealings with ASUU while lecturers should not allow matters affecting individual universities to become national issues. There should be mutual issues of trust and not mistrust between the government and ASUU.

IN addition, government should invest more in the communication industry to enhance distant learning programmes like the one currently operated by the National Open University of Nigeria as alternative to conventional university system.

WE blame government for not being honest enough in implementing most agreements it reached with ASUU and call for constant brainstorming between the government and ASUU.

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