» moIf there’s anything that has been very constant in the academic calendar of the Nigerian Universities since 1999, it is ASUU strike.
The Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria are always in conflict over funding of the Nigerian Universities, better working condition among other ASUU demands.
And each time the two parties call for a meeting to settle their disagreements, the meeting usually ended with the government promising the union that the demands would be met soon.
Here’s the timeline of ASUU strike since 1999.
After the end of the military era in 1999, Nigerians ushered in democracy and a government that promised to be people oriented. But it didn’t take long for Nigerian students to experience a disruption in their academic pursuit. Few months after the Obasanjo-Atiku administration was sworn-in, ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike and it lasted for five months.
In 2001, ASUU declared another strike over issues that are related and the reinstatement of 49 lecturers sacked at the University of Ilorin. The industrial action was aggravated when the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo described Nigerian university lecturers as “a bunch of lazy and ungrateful people” The strike was called off after three months.
Having had an agreement with the Federal Government during the previous strike, the union was forced to embark on another industrial action on Sunday, December 29, 2002, after the Obasanjo administration failed to implement the agreement. The strike lasted for only two weeks.
In 2003, Nigerian university undergraduates had to stay at home again for six months as ASUU embarked on another industrial action due to the non-implementation of previous agreements, which covers poor university funding and disparity in salary and retirement age.
Nigerian university students again experienced another disruption in their academic calendars as universities lecturers went on another industrial action. According to the Guardian, the lecturers went on strike for just two weeks.
In April 2006 academic activities were paralysed in all public universities across the country when ASUU declared a 3-day warning strike. It eventually lasted for one week.
The 2006 industrial action was followed by another on March 26, 2007. The strike lasted for three months. The reasons for the strike was pretty much the same reasons for the previous strike.
In a bid to press home its demands, ASUU went on strike for one week in 2008. The demands included an improved salary scheme and reinstatement of 49 lecturers who were dismissed at the University of Ilorin.
In 2009, lecturers in public universities across the country embarked on an industrial action that lasted for four months. The strike which started in June was called off in October. Before the strike was called off, the Federal Government and the union had an agreement. The 2009 ASUU/FG agreement would later become the reason for subsequent industrial action.
The year 2010 also saw another setback for Nigerian university undergraduates in their academics as ASUU embarked on another indefinite strike that lasted for over five months. The strike started on 22 July 2010 and was called off in January 2011.
Since the FG failed to honour its 2009 agreement to adequately fund universities in the country and implement the 70-year retirement age limit for ASUU members, the union again paralysed academic activities nationwide in December 2011. The strike lasted for 59 days and was called off in 2012.
Again, the government’s failure to review the retirement age for professors from 65 to 70; approve funding to revitalise the university system; increase the budgetary allocations to the education sector by 26% among other demands led to another industrial action.
The strike was embarked upon on July 1, 2013, called off on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. It lasted for five months, 15 days.
On August 17, 2017, ASUU again declared an indefinite strike over unresolved and contentious issues with the Federal Government. The strike was called off in September.
Again, due to the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) declared an indefinite nationwide strike.
The union announced the strike on Sunday, November 4, 2018, after their National Executive Council meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.