The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it will sustain its current strike if the Federal Government does not address its demands.
Speaking at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in Rivers State, ASUU President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said the government must first implement the report of the NEEDS assessment it conducted in 2012.
Ogunyemi, who addressed stakeholders on the union’s struggles, said its demands were genuine and in the interest of the nation.
The union leader said students would be the major beneficiaries of the demands and urged them to support the demands.
He said: “Students who are our children and partners in progress should show understanding. What we are asking from the government are in their interest and the interest of the nation: good hostel accommodation, good classroom blocks that can engender effective learning, laboratories where cutting-edge researches can be carried out and offices that can drive the process of quality university education.
“So, what we are asking of the government are not baseless things but things that in 2012, the government conducted during a NEEDS assessment survey and found out that there was widespread rot and decay in the university system. We are asking that the government implement its own report of 2012.”
Ogunyemi regretted that university lecturers were still receiving the same salary scale of 2009 in 2020, adding that if such issues are not addressed, the strike would continue.
He said: “Salary issues are still there. We have not fully addressed that. It appears that some forces in government are bent on inflicting suffering on our members by withholding their salaries. But we believe that once we sort out the issues of Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution, other issues will fall in place.
“The 2009 agreement we had with the government stipulates that that agreement would be reviewed every three years. But since then, we have not been able to review the salary scale. That is why we are saying the negotiation we started with government in 2017 ought to have been completed with the completion of that negotiation process.”