Students of Nigerian state-owned universities lost an entire academic year in a long dispute between the government and lecturers.
The ASUU president, who read some of the solutions reached by ASUU NEC at a meeting Tuesday night to review a report on the agreement with the federal government, said the union had decided to give the federal government another chance to prove it could be trusted.
He said the NEC agreed to accept the agreements reached between ASUU and the federal government on Tuesday, December 2020, and decided to consciously and diligently monitor its implementation.
Asked whether the federal government had managed to keep its promise to start paying back wages to ASUU members, Ogunyemi said it had begun, although it has not yet been completed.
Ogunyemi said it was also agreed that no ASUU member would suffer any loss of well-deserved compensation as a result of participating in the strike.
He said the union decided to pursue vigorously the areas in the 2009 ASUU-FG agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Action that require legislation such as the inclusion of earned academic benefits (EAA) in the annual budget and amendments to the executive law to comply with the National University Commission Act. (NUC) from 2004.
“And finally, the NEC has decided to conditionally suspend the strike that began on March 23, 2020, with effect from 12.01 in the morning on Thursday, December 24, 2020,” he said.
Ogunyemi cited key ASUU requirements agreed to be included, the immediate release of earned academic fees, and the inclusion of the EAA in the annual budget, using an agreed formula, to immediately involve universities and other research centers in the fight against illusion -19.
He said part of the agreement is that the government should speed up action in the testing process and ensure the implementation of the University’s Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for the payment of salaries in the university system.
He said the integrity test at UTAS is now in its final stages.
In addition, Ogunyemi said ASUU expects the government to speed up the FG-ASUU renegotiation process to ensure it is concluded within the deadlines agreed between the two sides.
For his part, Ogunyemi said: “ASUU is committed to returning to classrooms, laboratories to do its best for our students and our country.
“We will return to renew the motivation and aspirations of our members to strive to encourage our students to succeed, all in the expectation that governments, both federal and state, will sincerely fulfill their own part of the deal,” he said.
Ogunyemi listed some of the key demands submitted by ASUU that triggered the strike action, which include funds to revitalize public university infrastructure, earned academic allowances, withheld salaries, proliferation of state universities, visiting panels, reconstitution of government re-negotiation team and replacement of integrated payroll and personnel information system (IPPIS) with the University Solution for Transparency and Accountability (UTAS).