The Academic Staff Union of Universities has threatened that its next strike will be indefinite until all its demands are met by the Federal Government.
The Owerri and Benin Zones of the union handed down the threat at separate press conference addressed on Monday.
Leaders of the union from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Imo State University, Owerri; Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam; and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike addressed the media at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka..
Its Zonal Coordinator, Uzo Onyebinama, said some lecturers are being owed as much as 10 months’ salary.
Onyebinama said: “As we speak now, the Federal Government is in arrears of major components of the agreement, and that includes funding for the revitalisation 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.”
In Benin city, the Edo State capital, the leadership of ASUU in the zone said the impending strike by the nation’s university lecturers is a last resort to draw government’s attention to their plights and not to derail academic activities.
The Zonal Coordinator of the Benin Zone, Prof. Fred 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 government can act.”
The Zonal Coordinator, who described members’ remuneration as slave wage, demanded for a new condition of service.
He said: “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.”