The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Owerri Zone, has warned a total showdown with the Federal Government over the non-implementation of the 2009 agreement.
The union said on Monday at a press conference at Awka’s Nnamdi Azikiwe University that it would go on strike indefinitely.
Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, the Federal University of Technology in Owerri, Imo State University in Owerri, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University in Igbariam, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in Umudike were among the union leaders present.
Mr. Uzo Onyebinama, the ASUU Zonal Coordinator, told journalists that some teachers are owed as much as ten months’ income.
“As we speak now, the Federal Government is in arrears of major components of the agreement, and that includes funding for the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, and the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
“The consequences of the Federal Government’s refusal to implement the 2009 agreement is that the union has resolved to go on an indefinite strike any moment and once it begins, it will not stop until all agreements are fulfilled.”
The upcoming protest by the nation’s university lecturers, according to ASUU Benin Zone, is the last resort to draw government attention to their predicament rather than hinder academic activity.
Esumeh said, “Strike is less frequent in the western world because their governments act. But here in Nigeria, you have to go on strike frequently before the government can act.”
The zonal coordinator wanted a new condition of service, describing members’ pay as “slave wages.”
“The Nigerian universities are no longer attractive to foreign lecturers, including those from neighbouring countries.
“This is due to the prevailing slave wage where the highest-ranked professor earns less than a thousand dollars monthly,” He said.