ASUU begins nationwide referendum on strike

ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi

• Urges Federal Government to fulfill its 2009 agreement, 2013 MoU
• ‘TETfund disbursed N1.72b forresearches in tertiary institutions’

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has begun a nationwide referendum on whether to resume its suspended strike to force the Federal Government to implement the 2009 agreement and 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) freely entered into with the union.

In a mail sent to the branches by the National President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the directive came following a resolution at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union held at the Nasarawa State University (NSU) where issues relating to the 2009 agreement and the 2013 MoU reached with the Federal Government were extensively discussed.

The union asked members to decide whether to proceed on two-week warning strike, one-month warning strike, no strike action or total and indefinite strike if the Federal Government fails to satisfactorily address its concerns by Friday, August 11, this year.

Also, former Welfare Secretary, ASUU, Kaduna State University Branch, Malam Ahmed Buba, who spoke with journalists, urged the Federal Government to fulfill part of the agreement entered with the union in 2009 to prevent the recurrent strike of 2013, thereby leading to further disruption of the country’s educational system.

He said all attempts by the union leaders to assist government in proffering solutions to the deteriorating education system proved abortive, hence the need to re-embark on the suspended strike.

Buba said: “Like I said, if members say we should go ahead so be it and if they said no, so be it. We are not antagonising the government, but we are only demanding for what we know is our right. We have legal team and that means we are not doing any illegal thing.”

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, yesterday disclosed that about N1.72 billion had been disbursed to finance researches in Nigerian tertiary institutions since the inception of the fund.

Baffa stated this in Abuja while inaugurating two committees, the National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRF&MC) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Book Development.

The executive secretary, who noted that additional N1 billion was allocated in 2016 to beef up the intervention, said one of the concerns of the fund in respect of the implementation of the intervention is quality of research proposals that are being submitted by applicants.He, therefore, urged the committees to help in accelerating Nigeria’s journey to building a strong and responsive knowledge economy.

Noting that chairmen and members of the committees consist of wide range of professionals drawn from the academia and some relevant parastatals under the Ministry of Education.

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