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In 1999 and since then, Nigerian Universities have been striking for a continuous time that lasted three years.
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If there’s one thing that has been a consistent in the academic calendar of Nigerian University since 1999 it’s
The Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) as well as The Federal Government of Nigeria have always been at odds regarding the funding of Nigerian universities and a better working environment and many other ASUU demands.
Each time, two parties demand an informal meeting to discuss their differences, it is usually was concluded by the government saying to the union that the demands would be addressed soon.
The government’s refusal to comply with the ASUU’s requirements since 1999 has been the main reason ASUU strikes nearly every year.
Longest ASUU Strike In Nigeria
Following the conclusion of the military dictatorship at the end of 1999 Nigerians welcomed democracy as well as a government that pledged to be a people-oriented. However, it wasn’t much time to cause Nigerian students to be faced with an interruption in their academic life. A few months after the Obasanjo-Atiku administration was inaugurated, ASUU embarked on a national strike, which ran over five years.
The year 2001 was the time that ASUU announced a second strike over the reinstatement of the 49 lecturers dismissed at the University of Ilorin. The strike was further aggravated when then President the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo described Nigerian university lecturers as “a bunch of lazy and ungrateful people” The strike was ended in the course of three years.
In the event that they reached an agreement in place with and the Federal Government during the previous strike however, the union was forced to take on a new industrial strike on Sunday, the 29th of December 2002, because the Obasanjo administration failed to enforce the agreement. The strike lasted just two weeks.
The year 2003 was the time that Nigerian students at universities had to return home for six months, as ASUU took on a second strike due to the lack of implementation of agreements previously signed that addressed the lack of funding for universities and the disparity between retirement age and salary.
Nigerian university students once again faced another disruption to their academic schedules after lecturers from universities went on an strike. In the Guardian lecturers struck for only two weeks.
In April 2006, academic activities were halted at all public universities across the country , when ASUU issued a three-day warning strike. The strike lasted for a week.
The 2006 strike came to an end one on the 26th of March in 2007. The strike lasted three months. The reason for the strike were almost identical to the reasons as the strike that was previously held.
To press the issue, ASUU went on strike for one week in the year 2008. The demands included an enhanced wage structure as well as the restoration of the 49 lecturers that had been dismissed from Ilorin’s University of Ilorin.
The year 2009 saw lecturers at university campuses across the nation took part in an industrial strike which lasted over four years. The strike that began in June was ended in the month of October. Prior to the strike being ended it was announced that the Federal Government and the union came to an agreement. This 2009 ASUU/FG agreement was later to become the basis for further industrial action.
The year 2010 also witnessed another setback suffered by Nigerian undergraduates at universities in their studies as ASUU began a second indefinite strike that lasted over five months. The strike began on 22 July 2010 and was finally called to an end in January of 2011.
After the FG was unable to honor the agreement it signed in 2009 to fund the universities adequately across the country and also to establish the retirement age of 70 years for ASUU members The union was again unable to conduct education across the country in December of 2011. The strike was for about 59 days before being ended in 2012.
Another time, the government’s refusal to revise the retirement age of professors, which was set to be 65-70 as well as approve the funding needed to rejuvenate the university system, and increase budgetary allocations for schools by 26%, among other demands resulted in another strike.
The strike began on July 1st 2013 and ended on the 17th of December 2013. It lasted for 5 months and fifteen days.
On the 17th of August 17, 2017, ASUU renewed its declaration of an indefinite strike to address the unresolved and contentious issue in The Federal Government. The strike was ended in September.
In addition, because of the failure of the Federal Government to fulfill its demands, The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) announced an all-day strike that will last for a year.
The union declared the strike on the 4th of November, following the National Executive Council meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.