The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has issued a stern warning to the Federal Government, claiming that the agreement recently reached between the two parties is yet to be implemented.
In what seemed like a subtle strike threat, the union iterated that none of its officials would be held responsible if academic activities in schools are halted suddenly, again.
The latest position was announced by ASUU National Leader, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi during a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogunyemi mentioned that the meeting was necessary as the union needed to keep the public abreast of the ongoing discussions with the Federal Government, particularly because the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has claimed that the sum of N25 million has been approved by the government to attend to the demands of ASUU.
Ogunyemi stated, “Since information on the amount mentioned in the media went round, the ASUU has been inundated with inquiries on the union’s perspective to the story.
“Funding for the revitalisation of public universities has for years been of very high priority to ASUU.
“Reaching agreement with the Federal Government has often been a frustrating journey for our union. It is often marked with protests, strikes and requires a conscious and focused engagement. The 2001 agreement, which gave birth to the 2009 agreement, was not an exemption. The exception here is the personality leading the government negotiation team.
“The current leadership of the government team clearly lacks the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake such task. We have written the Minister of Education recently that with Dr. Wale Babalakin, we may go nowhere. And with the current approach of Dr. Babalakin in the ongoing negotiation, the future of Nigerian universities is in jeopardy.
“We call on Nigerians to prevail on Dr. Babalakin to embrace a change of attitude in the interest of Nigerian children whose parents cannot afford the cost of a highly priced privatised university system.
“Our members enjoy their work and hate to see any disruption in the smooth running of our universities. However, the level of frustration occasioned by the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards meeting the terms of the 2019 Memorandum of Action that was freely signed with our union is increasingly becoming unbearable.
“We, therefore, call on all Nigerian patriots, parents, and students, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, to prevail on the government to keep to the terms of our agreement. Otherwise, our union should not be held responsible for any disruption in the system.”