In the 20 years between 1999 and 2020, public universities in Nigeria have been shut down a combined 47 months due to ASUU strikes.
The Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria are always in conflict over the funding of Nigerian Universities, better working condition among other ASUU demands.
Here’s the list of ASUU strike since 1999.
1. 1999 – five months
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.
2. 2001 – three months
In 2001, ASUU declared another strike over 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.
3. 2002 – two weeks
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.
4. 2003 – six months
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.
5. 2005 – two weeks
Nigerian university students again experienced another disruption in their academic calendars as university lecturers went on another industrial action. According to the Guardian, the lecturers went on strike for just two weeks.
6. 2006 – one week
In April 2006 academic activities were paralyzed in all public universities across the country when ASUU declared a 3-day warning strike. It eventually lasted for one week.
7. 2007 – three months
The 2006 industrial action was followed by another on March 26, 2007. The strike lasted for three months. The reasons for the strike were pretty much the same reasons for the previous strike.
8. 2008 – one week
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.
9. 2009 – four months
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.
10. 2010 – five months
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.
11. 2011 – two months
Since the FG failed to honor its 2009 agreement to adequately fund universities in the country and implement the 70-year retirement age limit for ASUU members, the union again paralyzed academic activities nationwide in December 2011. The strike lasted for 59 days and was called off in 2012.
12. 2013 – five and a half months
Again, the government’s failure to review the retirement age for professors from 65 to 70; approve funding to revitalize 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.
13. 2017 – one month
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.
14. 2018 – three months
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. The strike was eventually called off on February 7, 2019.
15. 2020 – 9 months
Earlier in March this year, University lecturers embark on an indefinite strike to force the federal government to abandon Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), a salary payment platform that ASUU claims will diminish university autonomy.
ASUU announced it conditionally suspend the strike on 23 December 2020.