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NANS Protest Over Unresolved Crisis Between FG, ASUU

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), on Monday, staged a protest calling for immediate negotiation to end the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The students, who barricaded the entrance of the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja, carrying placards with various inscriptions, urged the federal government to listen to the cries of the students and reach an agreement with ASUU.

The protest is simultaneously going on in Osun state, Ekiti state and other 34 states of the federation.

Blaze Newz gathered that ASUU has embarked on a one-month warning strike since February 14, 2022, over alleging the federal government of being unfaithful in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MoA) between both parties.

Some of ASUU’s demands include:

Adequate funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, embrace of University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS) in place of Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System Payment (IPPIS), promotion arrears, and renegotiation of 2009 ASUU/FG agreement.

As the Union and federal government set to meet tomorrow, NANS vowed to continue the protest until the strike is called off.

Speaking during the protest, NANS national president, Comrade Sunday Asefon, said Nigerian leaders had enjoyed free quality education in the past but want to punish the current generation with disruption in the sector.

He said, “It is disheartening to note that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has gone on strike more than four years cumulatively since 1999.

“The consequences of this development are grave on the part of the students who are the victims of these incessant industrial actions embarked upon by ASUU as a result of labour disagreement with the Federal Government.

“The resultant effect of these incessant strikes is inconsistency in scholarship, research, and learning output.

“At the end of every strike action, ASUU members get their salary, government officials and politicians get their pay, Ministers in charge of the Ministry of Education and his counterpart in the Ministry of Labour get their pay and allowances for unproductive meetings with ASUU, but the students get nothing than the inability to get mobilised for NYSC as a result of age limitation, limited job opportunities as a result of age limitation, untimely death of students traversing the poor Nigerian roads unnecessarily, all as a result of incessant ASUU strikes.

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“It is more worrisome that most of the industrial actions could have been avoided if the government has been responsible enough to fulfill promises/agreements freely entered with ASUU over the years and fulfill their part of the bargain. Public tertiary institutions in Nigeria have taken a downward slope in recent years and there is an urgent need to fix the system. Many students no longer trust the education outcome of our tertiary institutions as a result of the incessant strikes and infrastructural neglect from the government.

“These developments account for the high level of migration of Nigerian students abroad in search of stable and quality education. Many of our students are currently trapped in war-ravaged Ukraine as a result of the incessant strikes in our universities and lack of adequate infrastructural development.”

He said the students were, therefore, compelled to make the following demands:

“That the Federal Government must as a matter of urgency honour every agreement freely entered with ASUU and renegotiate areas that need renegotiation in good faith with ASUU while we call on ASUU to be open-minded, progressive, and be realistic in their terms.

“Federal Government must do all it takes to convince ASUU to suspend its strike and return to the classroom immediately to ensure continuity in our academic calendar.”

They also called on Federal Government to consider immediate and urgent investment in revitalising public tertiary institutions in Nigeria to accommodate the growing population and the emerging needs of the century.

“We demand that Nigerian students who are the victims of the incessant ASUU strikes must be represented in all negotiations between the Federal Government and ASUU.

“We also demand that government representatives and ASUU representatives at the negotiations must show proof that their children attended or attending a public university in Nigeria.

“We, therefore, plead with ASUU to call off the strike while they devise new means of holding the government accountable without necessarily going on strike,” he added.

Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

TMC

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