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‘Indefinite strike’ shuts Nigeria’s public universities

Image: Alan Levine [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Academic activities at Nigeria's public universities have ground to a halt with the announcement this week of yet another strike.

“The strike is to be a total, comprehensive and indefinite action whereby no form of academic activities, including teaching, attendance of any meeting, conduct and supervision of any examination at any level, supervision of project or thesis at any level should take place at any of the nation’s universities," said Ogunyemi.

According to ASUU, the shutdown emanates from the federal government’s failure to honour a 2009 agreement with the union that funding should be allocated for the revitalisation of public universities and academic allowances.

The union alleges that only N200 billion (US$549 million) from a promised N1.3 trillion fund has been paid.

This is not the first time that the agreement has led to a strike. The ASUU went on strike for six months in July 2013 and again in November 2016 for the same reason.

Bukola Saraki, the president of the Nigerian senate, attempted to arbitrate in the matter, while the federal government set up an implementation monitoring committee for the 2009 agreement.

Both fell flat as Ogunyemi claimed ASUU’s issues were ignored by the politicians and that the committee lacked the power to resolve the matter. He said the committee was “overpowered” by government.

Ogunyemi slammed the federal government for not honouring the commitments it has made to education and research. He accused Nigerian politicians of merely paying lip-service to the growth of university education and for squandering gains made by ASUU.