The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has said that the Federal Government is yet to meet most of the union’s demands since the lecturers called off strike in 2022.
Osodeke who spoke during an interview with Channels Television Thursday night said after the union called off its eight-month strike, the Federal Government had not even called a meeting with the lecturers.
This is amid the recent approval by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), of the sum of N320,345,040,835 as the 2023 intervention funds for public tertiary institutions in the country.
The lecturers had demanded the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned academic allowances for lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, among others. This made them embark on strike which was later called off in October 2022 after eight months, following negotiations with the Federal Government.
But speaking on Thursday, Osodeke said, “As far as this present government is concerned, once the strike is over, the issue is resolved, unknown to them that a strike is a symptom of a problem. They have abandoned the problem. Since we called off the strike based on a court directive, not a single meeting has been called. Not a kobo has been paid.”
He said this in response to a question from the interviewer on whether the lecturers’ demands including salaries were being addressed.
He noted that this was despite the union members struggling to meet up with the academic calendar.
“It is so unfortunate that they don’t have any regard for the Nigerian education system,” he added.
Meanwhile, Osodeke lauded the approval of the recent N320bn for public institutions. “It’s a good development, this is part of what we struggled for in 1994, it’s our struggle, but there are issues we need to sort out,” he said.
According to the Federal Government, the 2023 intervention cycle will see each university receiving N1,154,732,133.00; Polytechnic – N699,344,867.00, while each College of Education will get N800,862,602.