The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Saturday, declared that its members are not in a hurry to call off the prolonged industrial action.
Dr Edor J. Edor, the ASUU Chairman of University of Calabar said lecturers are determined to ensure that the challenges of universities are substantially resolved.
In an exclusive interview with Bluebloodz.com, Dr Edor explained that the lingering strike was also in the interest of students.
Edor stated that the accommodations issues of students on university campuses would be adequately taken cared of if government meets ASUU demands.
The ASUU Chairman also insisted that the union has not reached any agreement with the federal government, despite the latest meeting.
On ASUU calling off its strike, Edor disclosed that only the union branches can suspend the current industrial action.
He said the branches would hold their congresses next week, after which a decision would be made on the prolonged strike
According to Edor:
“It’s the branches of ASUU that has the supreme power to say we have heard government’s proposal and are comfortable or we are not comfortable. “For now, the branches have not held their congresses and we may hold our congresses early next week then we will decide if to call off strike or not.
“The situation as it is now is that between ASUU and the federal government there is no agreement yet. “We will wish that the Nigerian students, parents, leaders, traditional rulers, civil societies and opinion leaders of various communities should understand that it’s in the interest of these students that we are embarking on this action.
“It is so that they would have hope that we are on this action, we are actually on this action so that Nigerian students would no longer cluster in their hostels when they resume school. We are actually on this action so that our daughters who live like sardines in the hostels in the name of accommodation would have spacious and ventilated accommodations. All of them who live in the hostels, I’m making no exception, they have no clean and decent toilet to ease themselves.
“When we are calling for revitalization funds for public universities, we are actually fighting to improve the standard of living of our students who are our children so that we will have decent offices to work in, standard laboratories, standard theatres and other structural materials. We are actually wishing our students and children well and on top of that, we are saying the university teacher can’t take a second place in the society, it’s not done in any part of the world. The people we groom and churn into the society gets there and begins to lord it over us.
“Nigerian government should at least look into the welfare of our members. We are hell bent on government solving this problem this time substantially, we are not in a hurry to suspend this action.”
The federal government had excluded academic staff from the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System, IPPIS, payment system.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment after a meeting between a delegation of the federal government and ASUU leadership in Abuja on Friday.