The NLC had on Monday announced the commencement of the industrial action from midnight of Monday, 13 November.
The ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor of soil science, directed compliance in a letter to ASUU zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons across the country.
NLC had on Monday announced the commencement of the industrial action from midnight of Monday, 13t November.
The action of the unions followed the brutalisation of the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, on 1 November in Imo State.
“As an affiliate of NLC, all members of our union are hereby directed to join this action of NLC to protect the interest of Nigerian workers and the leadership of the union. Zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons should immediately mobilise our members to participate in the action,” Mr Osodeke wrote in the letter.
Meanwhile, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, on Friday, restrained the labour unions from embarking on strike.
The judge, Benedict Kanyip, ordered the two major labour unions, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), to stop their industrial action scheduled to commence 14 November.
The interim order followed an ex-parte request by the Nigerian government through the office of Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, due to the Labour unions’ threat to embark on strike.
On Monday, the AGF office advised the unions against strike, asking them to respect the subsisting court order.
ASUU’s other unresolved demands
ASUU has raised concerns over “the deeping socio-economic” crises in the country, which it said was an attendant effect of the implementation of “neo-liberal economic policies” by the government of President Bola Tinubu.
“In particular, NEC noted the unbearable rising cost of living and increasing hardship foisted on the Nigerian masses since the unplanned deregulation of the prices of petroleum products and the unbridled devaluation of the Naira,” it said in a statement released after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Kaduna State University (KASU) at the weekend.
The union also noted that its struggles for improved conditions of service and funding
for the universities have had little gains.
ASUU and the Nigerian government have been at loggerheads over the latter’s failure to meet the union’s litany of demands.
The demands include the revitalisation of the universities, autonomy and academic freedom, and removal of federal universities from the imposed Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The university lecturers have also made a yet-to-be-met demand for the amendment of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Act to curb the unbridled proliferation of state universities, and other related matters.
“NEC observed that successive governments have failed to honour several Agreements reached with our union, especially the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement,” the union said.
The union added that the “little gains of the 2022 strike” which led to budgetary provisions of funding for revitalisation and the payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) of N470 billion have yet to be activated due to the non-release of the allocated funds.
It, therefore, called on the federal government to, without further delay, set in motion the process of concluding the renegotiation exercise in line with the fundamental principles of the Professor Nimi Briggs’ Committee and release the funds allocated for the payment of EAA.
The union also rejected the President Bola Tinubu’s dissolution of the university Governing
Councils “without recourse to the laws establishing them”, adding that the move has negatively impacted the governance of those institutions in terms of the career advancement of members of tafff as well as other matters which require the council’ attention.
“NEC therefore calls on the President Bola Tinubu-led Administration to reinstate the Governing Councils of Federal Universities without further delay.”
It also condemned the recent directive that federal universities remit 40 per cent of their Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to the coffers of the government
“For the avoidance of doubt, universities are not revenue generating agencies because the obligatory fees paid by students are to provide the necessary tools for them to be properly educated. NEC calls on the relevant institutions of state to remove universities from this category of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) regarded as revenue generating centres because of its implications for affordability and accessibility of education in the country,” the union added.
ASUU also condemned the National Universities Commission (NUC) for its effort in continuing with the implementation of the the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards (CCMAS).
The union said the NUC imposed CCMAS policy on Nigerian universities despite its documented shortcomings and rejection by university Senates and academic/professional associations.
“NEC reaffirms its position to pursue the rejection of CCMAS to a logical conclusion,” the statement said.
It added, “NEC strongly condemns the fascist and vicious attack on the President of the
Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in Imo State.
“NEC shall resist any attempt to paint the legitimate demands of the working people of Imo state and elsewhere in Nigeria in partisan colourations and demands that the perpetrators of this dastardly act should be fished out and punished in line with the provisions of the law.”
Although the federal government recently directed the payment of four out of eight months’ withheld salaries of member of the union, ASUU called on the government to “unconditionally release all the withheld salaries as a demonstration of the new administration’s desire to permanently resolve all outstanding issues related to the last strike action of our union.”
Members of the union had their eight months salaries from February to October last year withheld by the previous administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which invoked a No Work, No Pay policy to tackle the striking lecturers. The protractwd strike lasted till the National Industrial Court in Abuja ordered the suspension of the strike after the federal government made the prayer before it.