Strike: Our NEC’ll decide – ASUU president

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The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has said the National Executive Council, NEC, of the union will decide whether members should go on strike or not over some demands being made of the government.

He said the union was still consulting and sensitising members on the issues involved.

Speaking in a chat with Vanguard yesterday, Osodeke, who said the union was still consulting and sensitising members, noted that the declaration of yesterday as a lecture free day was also to show the displeasure of the union with the way government was handling the matter.

“We declared Monday (yesterday) as a lecture free day for members to sensitise our members and let the government know that we are not happy with the manner the issue is being handled. After all this, we will collate views and opinions of our members from across the country.

“Based on what our members say, the National Executive Council, NEC, of our great union will meet and decide whether to resume our suspended strike or not. The leaders of the union don’t act unilaterally, we act based on what our members ask us to do,” he said.

On the claim by the government that it was experiencing paucity of funds and might not meet all the demands of the union, Osodeke said everything was down to prioritizing issues.

According to him, not all the demands have to be met spending money, as some are policy matters.

He cited the demand of replacing the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, with the University Transparency and Accountability System, UTAS.

Meanwhile, the zonal leaderships of the union are expected to begin collating views of their branches on the issue this week for onward transmission to the national leadership.

The Lagos Zone of the union, for instance, has fixed a meeting for today at the University of Lagos, UNILAG.

Recall that only few days ago, President Muhammadu Buhari urged ASUU to take note of the fact that government was facing liquidity challenge and under serious fiscal pressure.

He, however, said the government was committed to honouring the promises made to the union and directed the Ministers of Education, Labour and Finance to liaise with the union to ward off any strike.

Buhari spoke when he received members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, NIREC, at the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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