Errm, So When Are The Undergrads Going Back To School?

January 7, 2019

On November 5, 2018, while some unlucky student was fighting for the last seat in the Keke so he could get to school early, the Academic Staff Union of Universities began an indefinite strike.

The reason? Well, according to ASUU, the Federal Government has been doing them wayo for a minute.

The men in Abuja have refused to approve better salaries or pay agreed allowances for lecturers in public universities.

Lowkey, this strike is just a rebirth of one that supposedly ended in September 2017.

When he was calling the lecturers to arms, The National President of the Union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said something along the lines that the lecturers will not resume until “government fully implements all outstanding issues as contained in the MOA of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.”

So, what is this MOA?

It’s simply a memorandum–an agreement with terms that the FG agreed to fulfil in the coming future.

Apparently, a day in real life is equivalent to 10 years in Aso Rock.

Think of the Memorandum as a final attempt to ensure some decorum, like when the Barbers Association agrees on prices for haircuts and makes all the barbers paste it on their mirrors. Why would that be necessary, you ask?

Well, the FG and ASUU have been at it for quite a while. In the last 19 years, ASUU has had to pull out the lecturers for a cumulative 40 months.

40 months equals three years and four months. That’s six months less than a presidential term. That’s six months less than it should take to get a Bachelor’s Degree.

What it means is that, if you spent four years in a Nigerian University, odds are you were out of school for an average of eight months.

That’s one month less than it takes to make a baby, which then explains a lot of things.

It’s created a very big problem for ASUU. Everyone knows that thunder hardly strikes in the same place but ASUU has been doing it for decades.

So when the issue of gaps in our academic calendars comes up, the blame mostly goes in one direction – The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities aka ‘ASUU’ aka “Super Strikers” aka “Sango’s Children” aka… the names go on.

The truth though is that most of these strikes happen over money.

That’s right – we all have the same problems, even when you’re an association with hundreds of members in the 60s and 70s.

For years, ASUU has maintained education deserves a larger chunk of the budget than it gets. And they’re right.

education in the 2018 budget

Over 60% of Nigeria’s population is aged below 25 i.e people who should be getting an education.

Yet, only a measly 7% of the 2018 budget was allocated for education at all levels.

For context, the United Nations recommends that all countries allocate 26% of their national budgets to education.

But Naija no dey ever hear word.

Remember something about the ‘renegotiation of the 2009 agreements’?

Well, every time ASUU goes on strike, the FG pulls out its mediators, holds several meetings at midnight with the lecturers, agrees to a new set of terms.

The strike gets called off.

And everyone moves on.

Till they remember nothing has changed.

Rinse, Repeat.

It’s a vicious cycle. While the rest of the country resumes work or school today, undergraduates around the country will have their lives on hold for the 63rd day running.

Despite seven meetings, ASUU and the FG have failed to reach an agreement on a way forward.

After a meeting at the end of December 2018, ASUU’s Oga at the Top dropped the names of 11 universities where lecturers are underpaid’.

He also said “the government kept saying they were working on it. If they pay that money, we will have something to take back to our members.”

So, yes, money is the problem. But odds are if you asked the FG, you’d get one response…

It’s now two months and counting since students around the country were made to start their Christmas holidays early, or take quick vacations to bae’s house.

You’ve heard all the regular bits of advice by now; learn a trade, read some books, travel (if you have dollars), pick up a hobby, and put your time to good use.

Either way, negotiations are ongoing. ASUU and the FG have scheduled another meeting for Monday, January 7.

Let’s hope the money flows and the halls can be filled again.

Whatever happens, we’ll let you know.

You can bet on it.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

December 5, 2019

We already tried to guess how much you have in your account and your current net worth, and we think we did a pretty great job (keep any complaints to yourself). Now, we’re going to try and guess your monthly salary based on your relationship with money. Oya, take the quiz: 11 Timed Quizzes For […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

More from Campus

August 20, 2021

Sitting for any exam can be tedious, how much more, almighty JAMB. And checking your result? That can be a nerve-wracking process, but you have to go through with it because how else are you going to get into university? Better to do so as soon as possible so you can put your mind at […]

March 31, 2021

Growing up, a lot of us are taught that there is an exact way we are supposed to progress. We go from primary school to secondary school to university, get a job and then marry. It’s linear and exact. However, real-life isn’t that simple. A good number of people opt out of this race at […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.