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UNIZIK Set To Join ASUU Warning Strike; As Senate Moves To Avert Strike

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​The Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has indicated to join the one-week warning strike against non-implementation of agreements reached in 2009 and 2013.

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the institution, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, told newsmen in Awka on Tuesday that it had constantly reminded the government of the need to implement the agreements.

Aribodor said that part of the agreements were the shortfall in salaries leading to payment of fractions of staff salaries in universities from December 2015 and non-payment of salaries in staff primary schools since December 2015 contrary to the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.

Others are funding of universities for the revitalisation and registration of National University Pension Management Company, payment of earned academic allowances and non release of subvention to state universities by their visitors.

He also pointed out that budgetary allocation to education dropped from 12 per cent to 11 per cent and down to 8 per cent in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Aribodor said that the government was reluctant to set up its negotiation team for the review of the 2009 agreement as consistently requested by the union since 2012.

He said that the strike would be total and comprehensive as there would be no teaching, no examination and no attendance at statutory meetings of any kind, among others.

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He noted that chapters of the union which opted out of the national directive were moles targeted at destabilising the genuine agitation of the workers.

Aribodor said that those chapters would see the outcome of their “unpatriotic’’ action.

The Senate on Tuesday pledged to engage relevant stakeholders to avert the warning strike being planned by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

ASUU had on Monday announced plans to embark on a one-week warning strike over the inability of government to implement agreements reached with it since 2009.

The move by the Senate to intervene in the matter followed a motion moved by Sen. Jibrin Barau (APC-Kano North) under matters of urgent national importance.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged the chamber to intervene and ensure that the eight -year- agreement was fully implemented.

“We must find a way of seeing to the implementation and we will look into the matter quickly.

“We will also get the relevant parties to quickly come to the table so that we can find a way of moving forward and report back to us,” he said.

While reading the motion, Sen. Jibrin Barau, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TetFund, urged government to implement all agreements.

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He also urged government to as well carry out certain actions that were necessary for the wellbeing of the development of Nigerian public universities.

The lawmaker, however, commended ASUU for choosing the path of dialogue rather than confrontation as a means of resolving all the outstanding issues between it and the Federal Government.

In his contribution, Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central) noted that the history of strike in the country was a recurring decimal.

“It is a disturbing issue to parents and students. There is need to nip it in the bud. We should not allow it to escalate,” Goje said.

Goje said the motion was apt and and called on the senate to engage the leadership of ASUU in order to suspend its planned warning strike.

The Majority Leader, Sen. Mohammed Ndume, described the senate as a stabilising agent and called for the immediate intervention of the senate leadership in the matter.

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