Strike or no strike: ASUU to make decision after lack of “goodwill” by government

NEWS DIGEST – The Academic Staff Union of Universities will decide its next step later today should the Federal government fail to honour its past agreement beyond the August 31st deadline.

ASUU bemoans the level of commitment shown by the Federal government to fulfil the terms of agreement that saw an end to the 9-month strike in 2020.

“They are not showing goodwill on the issue we are talking about,” Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, President of ASUU, told The PUNCH.

In negotiating an end to the strike in December, the Federal Government had promised to commit a cumulative N65 billion to address grievances from revitalisation of universities and earned academic allowances of lecturers.

On August 2, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, pinned the failure of the government to release the money on the Central Bank of Nigeria, where he says the money is deposited and awaits release pending the conclusion of the audit.

On Monday, Nwajiuba retains that the government was still in the process of securing the funds and has urged ASUU to be patient. “We are pursuing the CBN to be clear on the timing. Let ASUU reach out to us.”

ASUU, however, has sounded out the government as not being “honest” with what they communicate in public.

“What is difficult in transferring money from one CBN account to another CBN account?” Prof Osodeke said. “That means the document they showed us is fake.”

Osodeke explained that the federal parastatals are domiciled in the CBN via the Treasury Single Account and transferring money shouldn’t represent a problem.

Osodeke expected that the Ministry of Education would have called a meeting between August 2, when they last met with the government, and now to discuss how the money would be allocated among the universities.

“Have they called the meeting? Does that meeting also depend on the CBN?” he said.

The union promises to reveal its next course of action later today when its ultimatum will elapse.