CEM REPORT | The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will on Tuesday meet with the representatives of the Nigerian government to possibly conclude talks on the renegotiated 2009 agreement, among other issues which could lead to the end of the ongoing strike action.
According to ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, while speaking on a television program certain agreement which have been made will be signed.
He also disclose that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) developed by the union has been cleared for use by the government to replace the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
“The issue of IPPIS and UTAS have been put to rest because the test has been done. As agreed by the Chief of Staff (to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Gambari), UTAS will be implemented to cover all the universities,
“If we go to that meeting tomorrow and the government says they are willing to sign what we negotiated, it’s fine”
While we all wish for the resolution of the lingering rift between government leadership and ASUU, it is expected that the half a year strike and closure of our universities will have some impact that would need to recover.
One of them bothers on getting the students back to learning mood having been home for this long. While this may be considered minor, there is a bigger one.
The the big one is impact on the academic staff as individuals. Within this period of the strike, the already existing brain drain in the country has been further aggravated.
Following ASUU President’s comment last week, the nation’s academic staff strength is being depleted as many lecturers in Nigerian Universities have left the country to pursue their careers abroad.
Osodeke, while speaking with journalist at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State, disclosed that the move was triggered by the failure of the federal government to resolve the lingering crisis in the education sector.
“We don’t have a certain statistic but a large number of our members have moved out of the country not because they hate this country but because of the way they are being treated. There’s no country in the world where their academics will go on strike and you think the best weapon is to seize their salary.
“When we were on the strike, lecturers in the United Kingdom went on strike, it didn’t take two days for them to resolve it, the Ghanaians went on strike and they resolved it. But here, they felt nonchalant and you know why? Because they do not commit, their children are not here, they are not Nigerians, their children are abroad, and their families are abroad.
“We see the children of President, children of Senators, children of Governors having their convocation and you see other Governors coming to rejoice with them, so you have leaders who do not have any feelings for the children of the poor.
“ASUU will go as far till they (FG) are ready to answer. We also appeal to Nigerians, the beauty of this, is that their lives are in their hands. In the next five to six months from now, there will be an election, they should hold their PVC, and all those who have subjected them to this crisis should be voted out. It is their right they voted them in, they can’t be at home while their children will be enjoying education outside the country. This is their right they should use their PVC.”
What this could imply would be that eventually when the rift between the federal government and ASUU, there will be a shortage of lecturers in many universities.
The immigration of lecturers adds to the present brain drain experienced in the health sector.
The renegotiation of the 2009 agreement and the replacement of IPPIS with UTAS are the major demands of the striking lecturers.
ASUU commenced the nationwide industrial action on 14 February and has continued to extend it as there was no agreement with the government.
On 1 August, ASUU announced another extension of the strike by another four weeks.