The President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview with THISDAY has commented on whether the union will call off the indefinite strike action it entered in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria.
Speaking with respect to the Coronavirus disease which has now crippled the world’s economy, Nigeria included, Ogunyemi said that the union is not oblivious of what economic hardship the pandemic has brought to Nigeria, but still maintained that the Federal Government will have to meet them on a negotiating table before issues surrounding the strike action will be resolved.
“We are not oblivious of what is happening in our country and across the globe regarding the economic downturn that followed this Covid-19 pandemic. However, the issue of whether we are going to give concession or not is something that has to be discussed at the negotiating table”, he said.
The President of the union also mentioned that the federal government had withheld two months salaries of it’s members and are instead making sectional payments to those they think are on their side. He emphasized that the federal government holds the key to the resolution of this problem and that the indefinite strike will continue or stop depending on how government chooses to handle the matter.
Apart from asking for an 18-month time frame to develop it’s own alternative salary payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS) the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) is also demanding N1.1Trillion for revitalization of Universities and an additional N220 Billion as arrears of earned academic allowances owed to it’s members from the agreement it had with federal government in 2009.