This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday, 8th February 2019 suspended its nationwide strike that started 4th November 2018. The suspension came in after multiple meetings between the federal government and members of the union. ASUU has now directed its members to immediately return to teaching students.
For many years now, ASUU has been at loggerheads with the government over different agreements revolving around funding for public universities, university autonomy and conditions of service. The agreements, which go unfulfilled or partly fulfilled constitute major reasons for the very frequent strike action by academic staff of government-owned universities.
Some of the negotiated agreements that have led to different strike actions include:
Funding for the revitalisation of public universities based on a previously signed Memorandum of Understanding in 2012, 2013 and 2017 by both parties (ASUU and the federal government)
Payment of earned academic allowances to loyal ASUU members
Provision of a platform by the federal government for ASUU to engage Governors on the proliferation of universities, underfunding of university education and undue interference in the affairs of the universities
Payment of all arrears of shortfall in all universities that have met the verification requirements of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA)
Nigeria’s labour minister, Chris Ngige, said this particular industrial action was called off because the government agreed to release ₦25 billion for the revitalisation of public universities, and also make a part payment of outstanding arrears of the earned academic allowances to ASUU staff, among others.
The good news is that students can now go back to learning and meeting up with the school calendar.