The ongoing strike by the Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) has escalated following the federal government’s insistence that its proposed agreement with the union will not be binding on state universities.
Federal Ministry of Education spokesperson Ben Goong in an interview in Abuja on Wednesday explained that the federal government cannot dictate education to the states as it is on the concurrent legislative list.
A committee headed by Federal University of Lokoja pro-Chancellor Professor Nimi Briggs reportedly recommended an 180% salary increase for lecturers, but the government reportedly favored a 100% raise.
Blueprint found that the Ministries of Finance, Education, Labor and Employment, the Federation Budget Office, the Office of the Federation Department Head, and the National Wages, Incomes and Salaries were still working on the final details of the proposal.
ASUU President Professor Emmanuel Osodeke insisted that any agreement reached with the federal government would be binding on the states, opening up another battlefront between the union and the government.
Blueprint had reported that ASUU members, including federal and state universities, went on strike on February 14, 2022.
Following the inability of the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, to resolve the strike, President Muhammdu Buhari two weeks ago ordered the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to resume negotiations with the leadership of the ASUU.
To force a speedy resolution to the crisis, the Nigeria Labor Congress organized protests across the country on July 26 and 27 in solidarity with the union.
However, the ASUU extended industrial action for another four weeks on Monday.