The Academic Staff Union of Universities, has concluded plans to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike if the Federal Government fails to sign and implement the joint agreement of December 2008 renegotiations reached by the two parties.
The ASUU Chairman, University of Calabar chapter, Dr Chike Ekeopara, said this on Saturday, while briefing journalists on the preparedness of the union.
He said one of the clause in the FG/ASUU agreement of June 30, 2001 was the renewal of the agreement after a period of three years which the Federal Government failed to oblige in July 2004.
He added that failure of the FG to renegotiate with ASUU until March 14, 2007 (three years after it was due), led to the three- month old strike action by ASUU which was called off on July 2,2007, after pleas from well meaning Nigerians and a letter from the Federal Ministry of Education dated June 26, 2007 that urged ASUU to call off the strike.
Part of the FG/ASUU renegotiation as contained in a letter from the Federal Ministry of Education to ASUU reads, “The negotiating team shall be empowered to negotiate with ASUU within the principles of collective bargaining with a view to addressing the problems of the rot and brain drain in the university system and to establish internationally competitive standards.”
The Don said since the renegotiation ended in December 2008, the Federal Government had demonstrated high level of insincerity through her non challant attitude toward the union‘s demand, brain drain and the proper funding of the Nigerian university system .
The Chairman who accused the FG of ‘footdragging‘ said ASUU had exhausted its patience which may likely spell doom for the Nigerian education system.
He condemned Federal Government‘s gesture of increasing the wages and other welfare packages for the military personnel and other para-military agencies with no consideration for the university system.