Labour minister Chris Ngige vowed to end lecturers’ strike in the coming days.
But the Lagos zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says the Muhammadu Buhari government is not interested in ending the strike this year.
ASUU has been on strike since March. The lecturers are at war with the government over a 2019 agreement. They have also refused to join the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
“Only recently, the government approved a N5 billion bailout fund to operators in the Aviation sector to ameliorate the harsh realities of COVID-19 on their business operations,” Lagos ASUU coordinator Prof Olusiji Sowande said.
“Over the years, Nigerian government has spent over N1.5 trillion to bailout power generation and distribution companies to keep their business afloat despite privatisation of the power sector.
“If the government could bailout private businesses for ‘Business Good’ then Nigerian public universities deserved to be bailed out for ‘Public Good’.”
Sowande said that ASUU’s disagreement with the government goes beyond IPPIS for which universities have developed an alternative called University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
He said ASUU is on strike because of the failure of government to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and February 2019 Memorandum of Action (MoA).
The agreements, he said, which stipulated timelines for release of funds for the revitalisation of dilapidated infrastructure in public universities, payment of outstanding Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), conclusion of renegotiation of 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement, setting up of visitation panels to federal universities as well as underfunding and proliferation of state universities.