ASUU and Nigerian Government

Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, was formed in 1978 as a successor to the Nigerian Association of University Teachers formed in 1965, covering all academic staff in Federal and State Universities.
The general goal of this association is to seek after the welfare and autonomy of academic staff in both federal and state universities. This is as a result of the challenges and pressures faced by academic staff in the cause of their professional calling. Therefore, it was necessary for a union of this magnitude to be formed in order to tackle these ills.
The union played an active role in the struggle against military governments in the 1980s. In the bid to obtain fair wages and autonomy for universities, the union embarked on a National Strike in 1988 which led to its ban from operation and seizure of property in 7 August, 1988. The union was permitted to resume its activities in 1990 and was again banned in 23 August,1992 after it embarked on another strike action in the same year. Following this, an agreement was reached between the union and the Nigerian government as several of the union’s demands were met in 3 September, 1992.
During the regime of General Sani Abacha who served as the de facto President of Nigeria from 17 November 1993 to 8 June, 1998, ASUU embarked on another strike in 1994 and 1996 respectively, protesting against the dismissal of staff by the Sani Abacha military regime.
The union continued to pursue its goal during the Nigerian fourth republic as the country was returned to democracy in 1999. It also militated against opposition from former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities had embarked on strikes in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2015 respectively, still seeking for a more improved working conditions as little attention is always paid to them by the Nigerian government. Also followed by failure to meet up with the agreement made between the Nigerian government and Academic Staff Union of Universities over demands by the union.
The Goodluck Jonathan’s government in 2013, released 30 billion naira to settle the union demands but this was not enough as it was just a snippet of the total demand made by the union. The union and the Federal government also had a Memorandum Of Agreement (MOU) which was to be settled in subsequent time. Out of all the items contained, only 200 billion was released out of 1.3 trillion naira Public Universities Revitalisation (Needs Assessment). ASUU had to call off the strike due to the partial compliance of the government with their demands as it was the case in previous years.
The union has always threatened to go on strikes if the Federal government fails to meet their demands as well as keep to their promise in previous agreements. This is why the union has always embarked on strikes each time the Federal government fails to meet up.
In 2016, the union had embarked on strike due to the failure of the Federal government to comply with the 2009 agreement and 2013 Memorandum Of Understanding. Same incident has presently occurred as the union officially embarked on another strike on Sunday 13 August,2017.
The question is, will this keep on like this and for how long? Is the Association of Academic Staff Union of Universities demanding too much? Is the Nigerian government incapable of handling the educational needs of the country? How long will the educational atmosphere of the country experience a positive change and focus? To mention but a few. The shambles in the Nigerian government has affected every faction of the country. The continuous strike actions by ASUU due to the failure of Nigerian government to manage the educational system has crippled academic activities and several delays in academic progress in the country over the years. Students are mostly affected as they spend more than the official period of their stay in school. It’s does not seem to bother lecturers because they are the least affected, as they are still entitled to their wages while the students are held hostage.
There is no tangible evidence or reason against why ASUU should not embark on strikes as the case is. This clearly shows that there is an obvious maltreatment somewhere and there is need for such to be addressed. Unfortunately, strike actions has become a routine in the Nigerian academic system as the issue of demands by ASUU has not been fully met. It is quite a flaw on the part of the government to take academic issues as a casual thing. This is not the case in most African countries concerning strike actions. Occasionally, there are information about public officials who embezzle public funds and even run to other countries to take refuge. These monies can be used judiciously to carter for the needs of education and other vital needs of the nation. Most of these officials are part of the Nigerian annual budget committee but will allocate a deficit portion of the budget to education but fuel other sectors with good amount of money. The allocation to education has been fluctuating without appropriate judgement. This is part of the reason why Nigerian universities are still experiencing tough growth and positive change process. Most political office holders earn more than academicians, which is not really balanced. The academicians are very vital pillars to the academic stand of any country as we all know that sound education defines the future outcome of any nation. The possibilities of positive change and development border a great deal on the standard of education that thrives on continuous research based innovations which is only achievable through good funding. Sound education can enhance standard and optimum functioning of every other aspects of the nation economic base. Therefore, there is need for great attention to be paid to the education sector. It is high time the government settled the Academic Staff Union of Universities in order to evade further strike from surfacing again in future. There should be balance in revenue allocations so that all sectors can thrive to succeed at their different sphere of operations. Not to allow vital sectors such as education, agriculture, health, research, science and technology among others, to wallow in unnecessary strain towards growth and development.

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ASUU and Nigerian Goverment
The routine strike actions by ASUU and the non full compliance of the Federal government to the demands of the union till date.
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