by Dare Lawal
Just as it promised, the federal government has paid the arrears of the salaries owed members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for five months during the strike embarked on by the union in the second half of 2013.
The chairman of ASUU in the University of Ibadan, Dr. Segun Ajiboye, confirmed this on Thursday in a statement. He said that it is “encouraging that the salary arrears have been paid to members and I believe this cuts across board. Right now, members are ready to go back to work. We however expect government to be sincere in fulfilling other aspects of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).”
Meanwhile, the union has said that in 2014, it would convene a summit on education. Such a summit has been canvassed recently by former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar, even though Atiku demanded that the federal government – and not ASUU – be the ones to convene it.
The president of ASUU, Dr Nasir Fagge who announced this, said: “ASUU shall convene a national summit on education, to x-ray the problems of the sector and proffer solutions. 2013 was a year of struggle to salvage Nigeria’s education system from the jugular grip of Bretton-Woods Institutions. ASUU shall dedicate 2014 to consolidating the gains of that struggle. A significant increase in budgetary allocation to education towards achieving UNESCO 26 per cent, to ensure holistic revitalisation of education shall be pursued. Government shall be pursued to implement agreements relating to workers in the sector to ensure industrial harmony.
“There will be a general improvement in quality and access to education at all levels for the Nigerian citizens. 2014 is the year in which, if we all do our bit as required, a foundation to genuine national development will be laid through the production of quality manpower at all levels for our dear country.”