Takeoff Thoughts: “Reason abandons a nation in which everyone is right on a disputed issue. Chaos rules a nation in which everyone is aggrieved. The chief enemy of a great future is a self-indulgent present. The state is a moderator and modulator of conflicting social interests, so as to optimize the security of all.”
The fear of ASUU Strike is the beginning of “Academic Standstill”
There are 4 staff unions in Nigerian Universities: Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU)
The ASUU was formed in 1978, a successor to the Nigerian Association of University Teachers (NAUT) formed in NAUT covered academic staff in the University of Ibadan Ahmadu Bello University University of Ife University of Lagos
No.ASUU PresidentStartEnd 11Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie Dr. Abdullahi Sule-Kano Dr. Dipo Fashina Prof. Assissi Asobie Prof. Attahiru Mohammed Jega Prof. Festus Iyayi (late) Dr. Mahmud Modibbo Tukur (late) Prof. Biodun Jeyifo Dr. B.A Ogundimu Prof. I.O. Agbede ASUU Presidents Till Date
ASUU / FG Agreements
No. YearAgreement , 1992, 1999, 2001 Several agreement to develop the Education sector Several of ASUU’s demands including the right of workers to collective bargaining Re-negotiation of the agreement; the re- instatement of over eighty lecturers sacked at the University of Abuja by the then Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isa Mohammed and the de-annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections ostensibly won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola Re-negotiation of the 1992 agreement and the re-instatement of the UNI ABUJA sacked academics
No. YearAgreement The government signed an agreement on percentage increases in the allowances of academics Government forced to resume negotiation and subsequent signing of the agreement on June 30, FGN inaugurated the FGN/ASUU Re- negotiating Committee under the leadership of Deacon Gamaliel Onosode to re-negotiate the 2001 Agreement which had been due for re-negotiation since June Re-negotiation of previous agreements started on January 23, 2007 was concluded in January 2009
9 Points Agreement with FG ASUU
Funding requirements for revitalization of Nigerian Universities Federal Government’s assistance to State Universities Establishment of Nigerian University Pension Management Committee Progressive increase in annual budgetary allocation to Education to 26% between 2009 & 2020 Payment of earned allowances Amendment of the pension/retirement age of academics on the professorial cadre from Reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils Transfer of Federal Government landed property to Universities Setting up of Research Development Council & provision of Research Equipment to laboratories and classrooms in universities
The 2009 Agreement had been due for re-negotiation since Jan 2012 This led to the Strike of Dec 4, 2011 which ended February 2, 2012
ASUU Strike Chronology
Statistics from the National Universities Commission (2002) reveal that since 1992, ASUU has embarked on strikes over 23 times to drive home its demands – 1992 = 21 years ASUU approximately marks every year with Strike
In 1980, ASSU embarked on an initial industrial action arising from the need to resist the termination of the appointment of six lecturers from University of Lagos, as a result of the report of Justice Belonwu Visitation Panel Report linked to university autonomy and academic freedom. Subsequently, in 1980 and 1981, ASUU embarked on further strikes to demand funding for the universities, the reversal of the problem of brain drain, poor salaries, and conditions of service, including the improvement of entire university system. In 1983 there was negotiation on the Elongated University Salary Structure (EUSS) and this became an issue of dispute in 1988 because of the lack of implementation of this prior agreement. Failure to implement those policies which were negotiated in order to conclude previous disputes, have been a constant factor in subsequent disputes. In 1984, ASUU went on strike to oppose deregulation of the economy and to resist military dictatorship
In 1985, the union embarked on strike to resist the military regime and its authoritarian decree 16 of 1985 for allowing the National Universities Commission to take over the responsibilities of the Senate and allowing external authorities to regulate programmes in Nigerian universities. 1n 1986, ASUU went on strike to protest the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) by Ibrahim Babangida’s administration and, at the same time, the union members opposed the killing of students at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria by mobile Police In 1987, ASUU went on strike to demand the implementation of Elongated University Salary Scale and to establish a joint negotiation committee between ASUU and the federal government. In 1988 against the effects of the recently imposed Structural Adjustment Programme. In 1990 ASUU was de-proscribed In May and July 1992 went on strike due to the failure of negotiations between the union and the federal government over the working conditions in Nigerian universities. An agreement was reached in September 1992.
In 1993, ASUU was banned again because it refused the order of Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) to suspend industrial action and return to negotiation table. In 1994 ASUU embarked again on a strike to demand renegotiation of agreements reached in 1992, the reinstatement of over eighty lecturers whose appointment was terminated by Prof. Isa Mohammed, the Vice Chancellor of the university of Abuja and to resist the annulment of the June Presidential election, widely perceived to have been won by M.K.O. Abiola. In 1996, ASUU embarked a on strike due to the dismissal of the ASUU President Dr. Assisi Asobie. On May 25, 1999 the government signed an agreement on percentage increases in the allowances of academics. This agreement was “without prejudice to a comprehensive negotiation at a future date” between the two parties. In 1999 and 2000, around both salary issues, and the issue of government support for the sector.
In 2001 ASUU declared industrial action on issues related to funding of universities, but also seeking the reinstatement of 49 sacked lecturers at the University of Ilorin for taking part in previous industrial action in The FGN did not sign the Agreement as Dr. Babalola Borisade who replaced Prof. Tunde Adeniran as Minister of Education prevented the Federal Government’s Team from signing the Agreement. ASUU rejected Borisade’s moves and resumed its suspended strike. This forced the government to resume negotiations and the subsequent signing of the Agreement on June 30, In July 2002, ASUU’s National President, Dr. Oladipo Fashina, petitioned Justice Mustapha Akanbi of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related practices Commission to investigate the authorities of the University of Ilorin for financial mismanagement and corruption. The Government of Obasanjo did not implement the 2001 agreement, prompting ASUU to embark on another strike on December 29, 2002.
In 2003 ASUU embarked on further industrial action due to the non- implementation of previous agreements, poor university funding and disparity in salary, retirement age and non-implementation. The ding-dong between the FGN and ASUU continued until December 14, 2006, when the then Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili on behalf of the FGN inaugurated the FGN/ASUU Re-negotiating Committee under the leadership of Deacon Gamaliel Onosode to re- negotiate the 2001 Agreement which had been due for re-negotiation since June It was the same agitation of salary increment and other reforms in the education sector the ASUU cried on in 2005 that led to the strike In 2007, ASUU went on another strike for three months. In May 2008, it held two one-week “warning strikes” to press on a range of demands, including an improved salary scheme and re-instatement of 49 lecturers who were dismissed many years ago. In 2009, ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike over disagreement with the FG on an earlier agreement reached. After three months of strike, in October 2009, an MoU was signed and the strike was called off.
Now 18 months after it suspended its industrial action over the non- implementation of some aspects of the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government, ASUU has directed its members nationwide to down tools immediately. July 1 st, 2013 Current industrial action started: Aug 20 th makes 50 days
Funding requirements for revitalization of Nigerian Universities Federal Government’s assistance to State Universities Establishment of Nigerian University Pension Management Committee Progressive increase in annual budgetary allocation to Education to 26% between 2009 & 2020 Payment of earned allowances Implemented! Transfer of Federal Government landed property to Universities Setting up of Research Development Council & provision of Research Equipment to laboratories and classrooms in universities
YearDuration (in months) Some Documented Records of ASUU Strike Cumulatively, the Nigerian University System has spent over 2years observing different strike actions between 1981 and 2013.
Causes of ASUU Strikes
NoCauses 1Conflict between ASUU, SSANU on salary parity 2Poor implementation of agreement by FG 3Review of salaries 4Review of fringe benefits and allowances 5Increased university autonomy 6Appointment of governing councils 7Appointment of Vice-Chancellors 8Modification of NUC roles in universities 9 Minimum standards of accreditation to be handled by universities 10Restructuring of NUC 11Improved level of funding 12Transfer of landed properties to universities 13Government patronage to university consultancy 14Reduction of JAMB’s role in admission Stella I. Madueme and Glad Aneked
Facts from Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities There are 37,504 academics in the country’s public 23,030 (61%) in Federal Universities while 14, 474 (39 %) teach in State-owned Universities Total Male academics are 31,128 (83%) and Female 6,376 (17%) Only about 16,127 (43%) of Nigerian universities teaching staff have doctorate degrees, instead of 75% Only about 16,502 (44%) are within the bracket of Senior lecturers and Professors Only seven (7) Universities (IMSU, UNICAL, OSUST, NOUN, UNIPORT, UNILORIN & UNIUYO) have up to 60 % of their teaching staff with PhD qualification Kano State University which is 11 years old, has one Professor and 25 lecturers with PhDs, Kebbi State University has two professors and five lecturers who have PhDs. 74% of lecturers in the Plateau State University Bokkos, are visiting
The ratio of teaching staff to students in many universities is 1:100 National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) teaching staff to students is 1: 363 University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) teaching staff to students is 1:122 Lagos State University (LASU)staff to students is 1:144 In contrast, in Harvard University, it is 1: 4; Massachusetts Institute of Technology- 1:9; and Cambridge-1:3. There is numerically more support than teaching staff in the universities It was discovered that the non-teaching staff double, triple or quadruple the teaching staff Physical facilities for teaching and learning in the public universities are inadequate, dilapidated, over-stretched and improvised Laboratories & Workshops equipment as well as consumables are either absent, inadequate or outdated Kerosene stoves are being used as Bunsen burners in some Universities
Some engineering workshops operate under zinc sheds and trees Many science-based faculties are running what is referred to as “Dry Lab,” due to lack of reagents and tools to conduct real experiments 163 of the 701 physical uncompleted projects it found had been abandoned There are a total of 1,252,913 students in the public universities 5% Sub-degree, 85% Undergraduates, 3% Postgraduate diploma 5% Master’s and 2% Ph.D. As against the National Policy on Education that stipulates 60:40 enrolment in favour of science-based programmes, 66.1% of them are studying Arts, Social Sciences, and Management and Education courses Only 16% of Students are studying Science and Science-education courses; 6.3% Engineering; 5% Medicine, while 6.6% studying Agriculture, Pharmacy and Law
Selected Journals by Comparison between Nigeria and Other Countries Journal Total Output Papers from Nigeria Papers from other Countries African Journal of Library and Archives Information Journal of Cameroon Academy of Science68761 African Journal of Neurological Science37334 African Educational Journal Research Network Ethiopia Journal of Social Science and Humanities130 Ghana Journal of Agricultural Science Journal of Tropical Microbiology and Biotechnology 716 Global Journal of Engineering Research43 0 Journal of Environmental Science %60.90%
At independence in October 1960, the salary of the Prime Minister of the Federation of Nigeria was only eight hundred pounds (£800) more than that of the Principal (that is the future Vice Chancellor) of the University College, Ibadan, while the latter certainly earned more than the Nigerian Army Commander and General. The Prime Minister’s personal emolument was put at £4,500, while the Principal of University College, Ibadan, was paid £3,750, and the Army Major General and Commissioner £3,580. (Ifeanyi Onyeonoru)
By 1966, the university Professor was paid £3,000. This was higher than the £2,700 paid a federal Prime Minister or a federal Permanent Secretary. A federal Cabinet Minister took between £2,700 & £3,000. A federal top Civil Servant of the rank of Permanent Secretary, received between £2,500 & £2,940. An Assistant Lecturer (often first class or second class upper division) was offered £950, while his counterparts who went into the federal civil service received £720.
Effect of Strike
7 Negative Effects Strikes – BY DAYO ADESULU On the negative side is the depressing effect on the quality of graduates from Nigerian universities since time lost due to strikes that should be used for delivering the curriculum is not gained after the strike. The second effect is the poor public image of Nigerian universities. The third effect is loss of revenue. Many potential students prefer universities in neighbouring African countries including Ghana, Benin and Togo not because of superiority of academic programme offerings but because of instability of academic calendar owing to strikes. Fourth is financial loss to the universities. When the university shuts down due to strikes, staff are paid, even if it is several months after, but they end up being paid. The fifth effect is psychological on the part of students who have to stay idle at home, lamenting their woes and causing irritation to parents. The sixth effect closely connected to the fifth is engagement of the idle students in social vices including joining bad gangs and engagement in internet fraud. The seventh is what can be broadly grouped as collateral effect. Some undergraduates die in road accidents during the period of the strike in an attempt to “stretch their legs” to visit friends to kill the idleness.
When ASUU Strikes; Classrooms become Empty!
Education is not a commodity just for sale. It is a social good. It is the social responsibility of any government to its people. It is the engine of growth, development and transformation of any society. Higher Education restores to mankind its humanity. The University is the brain-box of a nation. To shut it down is to a nation the equivalent of a stroke to a person. There is a nervous breakdown!
There is no university system in the world that has no strike history. However, ours in Nigeria is at the extreme with strikes lingering for months. In North America, Europe and Asia where the top-ranked universities reside, strikes last for a few hours or maximum one day!
Professor Biko Agozino, a professor of sociology and Director of Africana Studies Programme, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, in one of his publications said: ”The time has come for us to review the permanent revolution strategy of ASUU and see if the mode of protest has outstripped the means of protest and what needs to be done. The preferred means of protest by ASUU is the declaration of indefinite strikes. If we look around the world, it is clear that this means of protest is no longer as popular as it once seemed in the 20th Century. (BY DAYO ADESULU)