Indications emerged yesterday that the Federal Government may consider the option of proscribing the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU if it fails to call off the prolonged strike after an offer was made to it.
Multiple sources in the Presidency and the Ministry of Education told Vanguard that if ASUU refused to reciprocate the Federal Government’s gesture by calling off the strike, the government would consider the option of prescribing the union.
One of the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Because of the priority President Muhammadu Buhari has paid to education, he has approved additional N100 billion for the universities and about N57 billion for the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
“This is part of the understanding with the unions on the re-negotiation of the 2009 Agreement. The government has also approved 35 per cent increase in salary for professors and 23.5 per cent increase for other lecturers. Government also approved N50 billion for earned allowances for the striking unions.
“It will be unpatrotic on the side of ASUU not to reciprocate the government gesture and call off the strike for our children to go back to school. The government is not also unmindful of the cooperation of SSANU and NASU for being patriotic.
“It is part of the labour laws that the unions, especially ASUU, should apply cessation of strike once a trade dispute is apprehended and conciliation is ongoing.
“From available information, the Minister of Labour and Employment apprehended the strike on February 22, 2022, and subsequently held conciliation meeting on that day with ASUU and on March 1, whereas, the disputes with SSANU and NASU were apprehended on May 3 by the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“Why should ASUU say that the Federal Government has done nothing? You should also recall that the President co-opted his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, to join in the negotiation to end the strike. Why is ASUU recalcitrant and daring everybody?”