ASUU Called off Strike... Students prepare to Resume!

News reaching WazobiaBlog.com has confirmed that the Academic Staff Union of Universities -ASUU has called off the ongoing 59-day strike. Students can now go back to school... Why ASUU called off strike may be the question now.

Even before now, students have been carrying rumours claiming the calling off of the strike. This showed how desperate they were to return back to school. Now, it is a reality that the strike had been suspended.

Culled from the Vanguard newspapers...we have these:

The strike was called off following what sources close to the negotiations between the union and government told Vanguard was the government’s show of good faith to, within three months, implement the core issues at the heart of the demands of the union.

Among the issues that thawed the ice were the pledge by government to give presidential assent to the bill raising the retirement age of academic staff to 70 years; to pump more funds to the universities and to grant more autonomy to the universities.

The agreement to call off the strike was reached by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of ASUU during a meeting at the University of Abuja on Tuesday.

Briefing newsmen on the union’s action, yesterday, its National President Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, cited the renewed commitment on the part of Federal Government to honour all agreements outlined in 2009, as ASUU’s main reason for suspending the strike.
Giving further insight into ASUU’s reason for suspending the strike,   Awuzie said government had agreed to provide more funds for the nation’s  universities beginning with an initial sum of N100 billion which it also hopes to shore up to N400 billion within a three-year time frame.

Awuzie also disclosed that government, through a memo sent to the union, pledged to ensure the compliance of the 26 per cent annual budgetary allocation to education in line with the UNESCO directive, but that such would be a progressive increase spanning between 2013 and  2020.
Retirement age bill
On the bill recently passed by the Senate raising the age of retirement for academics on professorial cadre from 65 to 70, the ASUU leader said President Goodluck Jonathan has indicated his consent to assent to the bill this month.

Awuzie further said the union having welcomed the intervention of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, the renewed commitment by the Federal Government as well as having  considered the agony students go through staying idle at home, decided to suspend the strike.
He said: “Government undertakes to re-instate Governing Councils of various universities on or before February 12, 2012, but may make changes in external membership where it deems necessary. The tenure of the councils upon reinstatement shall end in February, 2013.”

He said the decision to suspend the strike was not a unilateral process, saying: “These positions were duly taken to all branches for consideration in accordance with the democratic principles of  the union.”
Commenting on the suspension, Dr. ‘Wumi Oluwatoki, Chairman, ASUU-LASU, said it was necessary because government showed some level of commitment towards meeting core areas of the union’s demands.
“Having showed commitment towards implementing core areas of our demands, we give government the benefit of doubt to prove they are honourable.”

On his part, Dr. Karo Ogbinaka, Chairman, ASUU-UNILAG, affirmed that the strike had only been suspended and not called off, adding: “The Federal Government promised to implement the agreement within three months.”

To this end, all Unical students including both State  and  Federal Universities are to resume and commence lectures or exams as the case may be. Students of University of Calabar are to resume on Monday, 6th Feb,2012. Ready for school? I'm in school already!

Happy Resumption!!!!


Eniola Adewale
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