ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi

The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (Asuu), Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, says the federal government has not replied the union’s notification of strike action, which it commenced on 5 November.

The body of lecturers said it notified the Ministries of Education and Labour and Employment immediately the union embarked on the industrial action.

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Lecturers kicked off the strike last week Monday, to press home their demands for improvement in the funding of public universities in Nigeria.

The union said that the federal government had failed to implement the 2009 agreement it entered into with lecturers and hence the strike.

“We wrote to inform the two ministries that we had resumed our strike. We also told them we suspended the strike initially in September 2017 and we decided to resume it because the Federal Government failed to implement the key areas in the Memorandum of Action that we both signed,” Ogunyemi told Punch.

“We wrote to the ministries of education and labour and employment. They signed the copies we gave them, but they have not written to say that they saw our letters.

“The logic is clear to us in Asuu. The political class in Nigeria has strangled primary and secondary education in Nigeria. For example, as many as 24 states have failed to access the Universal Basic Education Commission funds for 2018. That has left UBEC with over N60bn that states failed to access.

“In the last two years, the government has been giving seven per cent to education in the budget. Suddenly this year, they woke up and said they would declare a state of emergency in the education sector and give 15 per cent. Who are they deceiving? This is an election season and anybody can promise anything.

“So what our union has concluded is that the ruling class in Nigeria – not only about this government but consistently over the years – they don’t care about the education of the poor.”