All things being equal, ASUU will call- off its 5- months old strike action in the next few days. That’s quite a good news.
From 1999 to date, ASUU embarked on strike actions about 16 times. That affected approximately 2, 000 academic days of the Nigerian students, disrupted 16 academic calendars and negatively affected the quality of our education.
ASUU’s claims centered on infrastructural upgrade and improved condition of service. The failure of the FGN to implement the 2009 ASUU/ FG Memorandum of Understanding was what triggered the latest strike action.
For how long do we continue this way? There should be other means to engage the government and compel it to do the needful, not necessarily through strike actions. We must find permanent solution to the ASUU’s strikes.
If ASUU is offended by the failure of the FGN to implement the 2009 MoU, I think, instead of embarking on strike action, ASUU should have considered approaching courts of law to compel the government to respect the agreement.
There are other options available to ASUU. Under Sections 38, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended), ASUU can hold peaceful protest to register their grievances and communicate to the government and international community.
Another option for the ASUU is to renegotiate the MoU with the government.
Most of the Nigerian Universities are in sorry situations. Government must therefore upgrade the infrastructure in our Universities and provide quality education that is affordable to the poor.
The welfare and condition of service of the University staff must be improved, otherwise corruption will set in.
Labour, including trade unions, industrial relations, conditions, safety and welfare of labour; industrial dispute; prescribing a national minimum wage for the federation or any part thereof; and industrial arbitrations are within the exclusive legislative list under Second Schedule to the Nigeria’s Constitution.
I humbly advise the Federal Government of Nigeria to initiate the process of the amendment of the Labour Act, Cap. 198, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria as well as the Trade Disputes Act to address the ASUU’s incessant strike action and save the future of education in Nigeria.
I am appealing to the Federal Government of Nigeria, on behalf of the Nigerian Students, that the Federal Government should consider compensating the students for their frustrations and disappointments, by paying their registration fees for the next academic session.
Galadi is a former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Gusau Branch (covering Zamfara State). He is the President of Bello Galadi Foundation.
He can be reached on:
Muhammadbel_law@yahoo.com and email@example.com and twitter handle:@bello_galadi1
28th August, 2022