Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday threatened to disrupt academic activities through strike, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of not keeping to its own side of the bargain in the 2019 Memorandum of Action (MoA).

The ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who made this known in statement in Abuja, said the N25 billion, which the federal government, through the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said it had approved for the union, was meant to be a part-payment of the Earned Academic Allowances and should have been released in February.

He also said the current leadership of the government team clearly lacked the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake the task of negotiation with the body for a better learning environment.

“Since information on the amounts mentioned in the media went round, the ASUU has been inundated with enquiries on the union’s perspective to the story.

“Funding for the revitalisation of public universities has for years been of very high priority to ASUU. Reaching an agreement with the federal government has often been a frustrating journey for our union. It is often marked with protests, strikes and requires a conscious and focused engagement,’’ the statement stated.

He said that the 2001 agreement, which gave birth to the 2009 agreement, was not an exemption, adding that the exception is the personality leading the government negotiation team.

ASUU further stated, “the current leadership of the government team clearly lacks the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake such task.

“Our members enjoy their work and hate to see any disruption in the smooth running of our universities. However, the level of frustration occasioned by the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards meeting the terms of the 2019 Memorandum of Action that was freely signed with our union is increasingly becoming unbearable,’’ he explained.

The union called on all Nigerian patriots, parents and students including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to prevail on the government to keep to the terms of the agreement, warning that the union should not be held responsible for any disruption in the system.