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ASUU strike: There is no need for the lecturers to continue – President Jonathan

ASUU strike: There is no need for the lecturers to continue – President Jonathan

| On 28, Aug 2013

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said there was no need for the Academic Staff Union of Universities to continue with their industrial action.

Mr. Jonathan said this at the inauguration of the Federal Government sponsored-Transformation Projects at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Represented by Ruqayyat Rufai, the Minister of Education, thepresident said N30 billion had been released for the payment of earned allowances in all public universities.

The president said that the inaugurated projects were in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to providing quality education in the country. He said the projects were based on the need assessment exercise conducted by the Federal Government in universities.
University lecturers have been on a nationwide strike for over 8 weeks with the lecturers demanding a full implementation of a 2009 agreement it had with the federal government. While the government says it has provided N30 billion for earned allowances of lecturers, the lecturers said about N92 billion is required to completely offset the earned allowances of the concerned lecturers.

That and other demands are the reasons the lecturers have continued with their strike.
Mr. Jonathan also urged the FUTO administration to engage inresearch for national development, while stressing the need for proper maintenance of completed projects.
The Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Chidozie Asiabaka, in his speech, expressed joy at the completion of the structure.

Mr. Asiabaka noted that the projects had gone a long way in tackling the dearth of basic infrastructure in the school.
“The dearth of classrooms, lecture theatres, power supply, student hostels, office accommodation, library space and facilities are major challenges my administration faced when I assumed office two years-ago,” he said.

The vice chancellor said with the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, the university got 1000 sitting-capacity lecture theatre, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies Building.
He said the inaugurated projects are the new Engineering Technology, School of Environmental Technology Building, Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies and Training and the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology building complexes.

The others are the School of Environmental Technology building, landscaping of the campus and the provision of solarenergy lights on the campus.
He also commended the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on the completion of the giant student hostel building in the university.
He lauded the Federal Government for the release of N1 billion for the development of capital projects in each public funded university.

FG Breaks-Off ASUU Negotiation, To Introduce Student Loans

The Nigerian Government has decided to break off negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over what it called the infiltration of the union by the opposition to discredit the government.
SaharaReporters gathered that as the committee set up by the Nigerian government to negotiate with the union gave a verdict of non-compromise on the part of the union and ‘security report’ of the infiltration of the opposition, it decidedto break the negotiation.
It was revealed that the committee had reported to the government that the union had remained ‘rigid and unbending’ to suggestions on how to agree on some of the issues it was agitating for so as to end the strike which had entered its ninth week.
The committee had told the government that the union leaders were arrogant and selfish as their interest was paramount to that of their students who had been at home allthis while.
The government after the report told the committee members that it had fresh security report that the union’s stance on the lingering crisis in the education sector was as aresult of the opposition’s infiltration into the union.
It said the opposition wants to portray the government as irrational and uncaring to the plight of the lecturers and their students as well as present the government in bad light to Nigerians and the international community.
The government in breaking the negotiation has decided to fund individual student’s education as it is done in advanced countries.
As a way of making nonsense of the industrial action by ASUU, SaharaReporters gathered that the government plans to introduce loans to the students throughout their period in the university so as to cushion the effect of the financial hardship on the students.
The government expects the students to re-pay the loans after graduation provided they get jobs of their choice. It however could not be ascertained how the loan to the students would compel the lecturers to call off the strike.
The National President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagee, had last week during a press conference at the University of Lagos, Nigeria said the union had pulled out of the negotiation between the union and the Nigerian government citing insincerity as reason for its decision, adding that the union would not call off its strike until the agreement the government signed with the union in 2009 is honoured.


The negotiations between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government collapsedagain yesterday as the lecturers have pulled out of the Governor Gabriel Suswam-led Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities.
In a letter detailing its reasons for withdrawing from the committee, ASUU said that the committee had not made progress on the issues for which it was set up, adding it was not satisfied with the way the N100 billion raised by government to rehabilitate structures in the universities was being managed.
Worse still, ASUU in the letter dated August 26 and signed by its National President, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, accused the Suswam committee of not being, clear on its plans for managing the funds. It cited the inclusion of a “Project Administration Fund,” even as it queried the manner which funds were allocated to universities slated to benefitfrom government’s intervention.
The letter stated that, “we have also noted albeit quizzically, that some N1.975 billion was allocated to the 62nd university called Project Admin Cost.
“We see no justification for allocating an amount more than what is allocated to four universities put together to abogus Project Admin Cost”. The striking lecturers who had earlier announced their withdrawal from negotiations with the government, said that until the activities of the Suswam committee are carried out transparently and its misgivings on the modus operandi of the committee are addressed, ASUU will not return to the committee.
“In view of the foregoing, ASUU will be unable to continue in the membership of the committee until the issues raised are properly addressed”, Fagge stated.


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