By Joseph Erunke
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said the Federal Government should be blamed for any further disruption of academic activities in the nation’s public universities, accusing it of failing to abide by the agreement reached with the union during the last strike.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, who stated this at a briefing in Abuja, yesterday, spoke against the backdrop of a statement credited to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, that government has approved N25 billion Earned Academic Allowance.
Noting that the union had been on the trail of the said amount since February with no result, Ogunyemi faulted the attitude of the leader of the Federal Government negotiating team, Wale Babalakin, saying he lacked the disposition and humility needed to effectively carry out successful negotiation.
Recall that the Federal Government had, on Tuesday, announced the approval of N25 billion as Earned Academic Allowance.
Insisting that government had not shown commitment to implement the 2019 Memorandum of Action, MoA, Ogunyemi said the N25 billion was meant to be a part-payment of the Earned Academic Allowances, which should have been released between February 15 and 28, 2019, as agreed.
He said: “Since information on the amounts mentioned in the media went round, ASUU has been inundated with enquiries on the union’s perspective to the story.
“Reaching an agreement with the Federal Government has often been a frustrating journey for our union. It is often marked with protests, strikes and requires a conscious and focused engagement.
‘’The 2001 agreement, which gave birth to the 2009 agreement, was not an exemption. The exception here is the personality leading the government negotiation team.
“The current leadership of the government team clearly lacks the academic disposition and humility needed to undertake such task.
“Our members enjoy their work and hate to see any disruption in the smooth running of our universities.
“However, the level of frustration occasioned by the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards meeting the terms of the 2019 Memorandum of Action that was freely signed with our union is increasingly becoming unbearable.”