The Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced the extension of its three-month prolonged strike by an additional three months.
This announcement was made on Monday morning by the union’s president, Emmanuel Osodeke, at the ASUU headquarters at the University of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital territory.
The decision, according to the Lagos zonal coordinator of ASUU, Adelaja Odukoya, followed an extensive meeting of the leadership of the union on Sunday and early Monday morning.
This is as students and other concerned parties, including members of civil society organisations have continued to stage protests to demand an immediate resolution of the crisis between the workers’ unions and the Nigerian government.
Hundreds of students gathered on Monday in front of the entrance gate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka.
Heavily armed and hooded security operatives were stationed at the university gates early on Monday ahead of the arrival of the protesters.
As of the time of filing this story, the protest was going on peacefully.
The national publicity secretary of the African Action Congress (AAC), an acclaimed left-wing political party in Nigeria, Femi Adeyeye, is one of the prominent faces at the protest on Monday.
Mr Adeyeye was a former student activist at the university.
Meanwhile, student leaders in Ogun and Oyo states have also threatened to proceed with indefinite protest action.
They said the protest would continue until the government and the striking workers’ unions resolve their disagreement and the university campuses are reopened.
Reason for strike extension
ASUU has consistently condemned what it described as the failure of the government to meet its demands.
According to the union, the basic requirement for the suspension of the industrial action will be the replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for the payment of its members salaries and other entitlements.
The union also added that the implementation of the agreement already concluded with the Munzali Jibril-led renegotiation Committee should be implemented without delay.
But the government has said it would not approve UTAS until all identified loopholes are fixed.
The government also said the renegotiated referenced agreement by ASUU was not signed by any of the two parties, and set up another renegotiation committee under the leadership of Nimi Briggs, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a former vice-chancellor.
But ASUU has declined to meet with the Mr Briggs-led committee.
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