Senate President Seeks ‘Speedy’ End To ASUU Strike
Senate President Ahmad Lawan on Saturday called for a speedy and amicable resolution to the months-old Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) strike.
He made the call in a statement celebrating Nigerian workers on the occasion of this year’s May Day.
The statement was signed by his spokesperson Ola Awoniyi.
“Nigerian workers deserve our appreciation and respect for their contributions to the development of our country,” Lawan said.
“I also salute them for their patriotic cooperation with the government and and other institutions in the collective efforts to address societal challenges.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Labour creates wealth for the nation, the more reason that the welfare of the Nigerian workers should always be accorded priority.
“As Parliament, the National Assembly will continue to partner with the Organised Labour in addressing issues that affect workers and the generality of the Nigerian people.
“Despite the prevailing challenges, the relationship between Labour and the Government should be cooperative in the overall interest of the country.
“In the spirit of May Day, I appeal for a speedy and amicable resolution of the ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) to ensure that our universities reopen for learning and research.
“We should always be mindful that no society can make meaningful progress without industrial peace and harmony.
“Once again, I say congratulations to all Nigerian workers and wish them a happy May Day.”
ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.
On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The agreement was reportedly struck in 2009.
Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).