The Nigeria Labor Congress, NLC has been making promises and good moves to resolve the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strikes for many years.
In 2013, NLC intervened in the ASUU strike by writing to the presidency to find a good modality to resolve the six months’ academic strike. In 2021, the Labor Union again, played its roles between the government and the Academic Staff of Nigerian universities to table their grievances and resolve their misunderstandings for the sake of Nigerian universities’ students.
Since the Academic Staff of Universities embarked on another strike in February 2022, the Labor Union of Nigeria has been making moves to end the strike of the two parts but all efforts of the Labor Union proved abortive because the Federal Government is not willing to accept the demands of the Academic Staff.
Among it’s requests, ASUU wants Federal Government to use its own invented platform for payment of its staff. The University Transparency and Accountability Solutions, UTAS is the main headlock of the unending strike of ASUU since because ASUU wants the replacement of IPPIS payment system. The rejection of the IPPIS payment platform by ASUU is for the reason, why other staff are not in it? The CBN, FIRS, NNPC, Politicians at all levels are not into IPPIS. To ASUU if government is truly in fight of corruption they should had integrated all politicians and all Nigerian staff to IPPIS and to lock corruption since corruption is minimal with academic staff than to politicians.
Also, parts of its demands, the ASUU wants improvement of the condition of learning in the Nigerian universities. To ASUU, without its struggles, the Nigerian universities will be exactly like the primary schools in the parts of Nigeria; with no materials of learning, without incentives of research for academic staff, without good teaching materials and good condition of learning.
ASUU has been lamenting on the increasing number of Nigerians studying abroad due to the conditions of Nigerian tertiary institutions.
ASUU blamed Nigerian government for neglecting Nigerian institutions while the authorities in power send their children outside to study. In 2014, the children of President Muhammadu Buhari graduated from a London University. Also, the son of Kaduna state governor, Nasir Elrufai graduated from London University and recently the son of Rivers State governor, graduated from London University when Nigerian universities are shut for six months.
A finding has shown that Nigeria is the leading African country with high number of students abroad and on the part of ASUU, the problem should be shouldered on the government for not funding Nigerian tertiary schools very well.
At this time of unionism, not only for NLC, all academic staff of Nigerian schools should support this crusade, students in Nigeria and abroad should vie into this, all Nigerian parents should indulge in the hope for better future of Nigerian education, and all workers and traders should participate in this as a chance to come to the aid of Nigerian progress, because it is clear to the common man in Nigeria that Nigerian universities are his properties because the children of his leaders patronize the oversee universities.
July 26th and 27th should be a day to support the progress of Nigerian education. This is an opportunity to rise a voice for a better Nigerian education and for the brighter future of our dear mother land.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim (Goronyo) is a lecturer with Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna and can be reached at email@example.com