…..As group calls for dialogue to end strike
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Federal Government to accede to the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by prioritising them.
The Chairman of TUC, Enugu State chapter, Mr. Chukwuma Igbokwe, made this appeal while speaking with newsmen in Enugu on Monday.
Igbokwe urged ASUU to show restraint and accept some of the demands that the Federal Government could cope with in view of the current state of the economy.
He implored ASUU, the Federal Government and other education stakeholders to return to the negotiating table once more; as ‘dialogue is the key to resolve all issues amicably’.
“Government should address these issues by prioritising them, so that there can be a way forward. If you have a problem in addressing all the issues at a time, why not draw a priority list and take it one by one.
“For instance, if we agree that we will do one thing now and do another one in two years’ time, the lecturers will have it in mind that yes, something will come at a particular time,’’ he said.
According to Igbokwe, government is a continuum, even if a new regime comes, whatever agreement the old regime or regimes had with ASUU would still be honoured by the ruling government.
“Administration may come and go but government is always a continuum,’’ he added.
Recall that ASUU on August 14, 2017 declared a nationwide strike after a consultation to press home its demands.
The ASUU demands bordered on the 2009 agreement and 2013 MOU relating to the funding and the revitalisation of public universities and academic allowances of its members.
Others include registration of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO), University staff school among others.
Meanwhile, a Nasarawa State-based non-governmental organisation, Centre for Educational Empowerment and Orientation (CEEO), Nigeria, has appealed to the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end the strike through negotiation.
Mr. Oyebisi Davidcrown, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akwanga on Tuesday.
He said that strike by ASUU, especially a prolonged one, had had adverse consequence on the country’s education sector.
According to him, dialogue remains the only solution to the impasse in the dispute between the government and university lectures.
“No conflict can be resolved without dialogue, hence, the need for the Federal Government and the ASUU to understand with each other.
“There are many implications associated with any strike and industrial action causes more harm than good.
It affects the education sector, the lives of people and the socio-economic development of the country negatively.
“In the educational sector, I don’t subscribe to strikes because of its negative effects on the lives of our students and the society at large.
Davidcrown described the ASUU strike action as unfortunate in view of the length of time the dispute had being without resolution.
He advised students affected by the strike to use the period to read their books in order not to lose track of their learning process and to excel in their academic pursuits.
The NGO boss further urged the students and other youths to be law-abiding, respect constituted authority, shun negative tendencies and tolerate one another, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliations.
The chief executive officer said that the NGO was established to ensure a boost to the educational advancement of the country through formulation of good educational policies and execution of programmes.
Davidcrown said that the NGO also trained teachers to improve on the quality of education in the country.