The Union of University Researchers (ASUU) has been urged to show flexibility in union talks with the federal government if the parties meet this week to find a solution to the long strike.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) called on Saturday, May 7, during a press conference held at the press center of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Osagbo.
According to Oyelaya Oyevole, chairman of the state branch of NANS Osun, “ASUU’s 11-week strike shows that education is less important to the administration of President Muhammadu Bukhara.”
In addition, Oyewole revealed that the association wants ASUU to be flexible in campaigning for its rights.
“We urge ASUU leaders to use and exercise flexibility during the negotiations, as excessive rigidity can lead to another stalemate.
“We call on all leaders of student unions to avoid the polarization of the real struggle and to accept the unity of the real goal, trying to direct the necessary energy to end the continuous strike of ASUU,” said the leader of NANS.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labor and Employment, earlier in his statement revealed that FG and ASUU will resume talks on a stalemate in order to put an end to continued pressure on Nigeria’s public universities.
Meanwhile, President Bukhara has reportedly approved a sum of 456 billion for ASUU to end the strike. According to a Metro Daily report, each institution should receive $ 4.6 billion to complete the 2009 deal.
However, when BusinessDay contacted some of ASUU’s executives to confirm the report, teachers denied knowing about the financial exemption from FG.
Koode Esuola, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), said it was still just speculation.
“This is speculation, which is rather not what comes first. What is in the first place now is the resumption of negotiations with the FG.
“The ACS is a well-organized union that cannot be broken in any way, and if there is such a development, the leaders will definitely show it to others,” he said.
In the same vein, Dele Ashiro, chairman of the ASUU branch, UNILAG, said he was unaware of the president’s financial release to end the strike.
Ifeani Abada, a senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsuka in Enugu State, also told Businessday that he could not confirm this as there was no circular on the matter from the union.
ASUU has been running production campaigns since February 14, when the union announced a 30-day pre-emptive strike to give FG a place to meet the demands of lecturers.
The union reiterated that it will not lift the strike until FG agrees to abandon the Integrated Personnel and Payment System (IPPIS) to address the transparent accountability of universities (UTAS).
In addition, the union wants the FG to comply with the Memorandum of Understanding in the 2009 agreement reached by both parties.