Some students have taken a swipe at the federal government for allegedly taking the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for granted.
The students, who spoke with Daily Trust, described as “worrisome”, the proposed fresh strike being planned by ASUU members to protest the government’s “unfulfilled promises”.
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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has invited the leadership of the union to another meeting in order to avert the looming industrial dispute in the universities.
Spokesman of the ministry, Charles Akpan, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, disclosed that the meeting has been scheduled to hold on Monday at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
He noted that the meeting would commence at 2:00 pm.
According to him, the ASUU delegation would be led by its President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke.
Daily Trust reports that the government and the university lecturers had been fighting over the appropriate salary payment platforms to use for the university lecturers, among others.
The last 9-month-old strike was suspended after certain agreements were reached by both parties.
But ASUU is now accusing the federal government of violating agreements it reached with the union before they called off their strike on December 24, 2020.
Reacting to the latest development, a student of Bayero University, Kano, Hassan Aminu, appealed to the federal government to sort out the issue of the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the lecturers on time.
Saidat Akande, a Master’s Degree student at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, wondered why the government could not make the university system in Nigeria free from crisis.
“What does the government want to gain in throwing Nigerian universities into an unnecessary and incessant strike?
“Settle these lecturers once and let’s move on. In fact, I’m tired,” she lamented.
Another student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Lukman Olalekan, in a telephone interview with Daily Trust, advised the government to ensure universities in the country remain independent.
He added that they should be given an avenue to sell their research findings and make money from that as it is being practised in Europe and other parts of the world.