The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has spoken out, saying it has shifted grounds from its previous demands, the union also disclosed that its decision was informed by the need to put students first.
The ASUU strike which was embarked on some eight months has seen university students of the country out of school for the larger part of 2020.
ASUU further revealed that as against its recent demands of N110 billion, the union is ready to accept N50 billion out of the total N220 billion revitalization fund, the university body further stressed that it would accept 50% of the negotiated N110 billion so as to resume academic activities in universities in the country.
However, the union said that its latest demand is just for the government to show better commitment to revitalization public universities in the country and the educational sector.
This was gathered in a statement signed by the Lagos Zonal Coordinator of ASUU Prof. Olusoji Sowande, made available to newsmen on Wednesday.
Lecturers on the other, have accused the government of deliberately leaving public universities to collapse by failing to release the needed revitalization fund which it has continually reminded the government of since 2009.
He stated: “In the interest of our students who have been at home for seven months, our union has shifted ground from the in insistence of a release of one tranche of N220 billion revitalization fund to demand for 50% of one tranche (N110 billion) for government to show its commitment to revitalization of our universities.
“This is a major reason the government has not been able to return to negotiation with our union in the last two weeks,” the statement read in part.
The body, in a bid to soothe students and parents affected by the long-stretched strike, appealed to parents and students to bear with its current struggle, adding that the action was born out of patriotism and that their sacrifice for the survival of Nigerian public universities is unparalleled.
The union also reiterated that its members have not been paid their salaries for 5 to 7 months now and have had to work under a very harsh environment, adding that its members have had to work without standard facilities which would have helped to cater for the ever-increasing student population.