The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Owerri Zone, has warned that the next strike by lecturers in the country will be indefinite and won’t end until all agreements it has with the Nigerian government are fulfilled.
ASUU has been at loggerheads with the federal government over non-implementation of the 2009 agreement.
Addressing a press conference in Anambra which was attended by ASUU leaders from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State University, Owerri, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, the union said the magnanimity of ASUU that resulted in various MOUs and MOAs arising from the 2009 agreement has been spurned by the Federal Government.
ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Mr Uzo Onyebinama who also disclosed that some lecturers are being owed as much as 10 months’ salary, stated that the “consequences of the Federal Government’s refusal to implement the 2009 agreement is that the union has resolved to go on an indefinite strike.”
“As we speak now, the Federal Government is in arrears of major components of the agreement, and that includes funding for the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, and the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
“The consequences of the Federal Government’s refusal to implement the 2009 agreement is that the union has resolved to go on an indefinite strike any moment and once it begins, it will not stop until all agreements are fulfilled.”
ASUU Benin Zone also said that going on a strike is their last resort because government only act when they do so.
Zonal Coordinator of the Benin Zone ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh said;
“Strike is less frequent in the western world because their governments act. But here in Nigeria, you have to go on strike frequently before government can act.
“The Nigerian universities are no longer attractive to foreign lecturers, including those from neighbouring countries.
“This is due to the prevailing slave wage where the highest ranked professor earns less than a thousand dollars monthly.”