The union also called on the presidency to expedite the signing of the draft agreement reached with the Nimi Briggs committee.

Speaking to reporters after its meeting, Prof. Dennis Aribodor, the ASUU Owerri zone coordinator, expressed regret over the prolonged renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, which has extended for seven years since 2017.

He highlighted that university lecturers have remained on the same salary structure for 15 years.

Aribodor emphasised that signing the agreement would be a significant step towards restoring the dignity of academia and fostering industrial harmony and peace in universities.

He said: “The reluctance of the Federal Government to conclude the renegotiation is the reason why the Government committee has had three Chairmen from Wale Babalakin through Munzali Jibril to Nimi Briggs. This means that academic staff in our universities have been on the same salary structure for 15 years.

“The most obvious implication of the truncation of the renegotiation of the Agreement is that university teachers in Nigeria have been on the same salary regime since 2009 when the value of the naira to the dollar was N120 as against N1800 today.”

Describing steps taken by the Tinubu administration to pay four months of the withheld salaries as one in the right direction, Aribodo further urged the administration to put a closure to agitations surrounding the withheld salaries by clearing the remaining three and half months.

“That struggle by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, instigated by the failure of government to honour agreements, was after all in the national interest. Meeting ASUU’s demand in this regard is a panacea for industrial peace in our universities.”

On the issue of the proliferation of Universities, ASUU expressed worry over the establishment of universities by federal and state governments without making adequate preparations for their funding.

The body stated: “The proliferation of Universities was one of the issues that led to the strike actions of 2020 and 2022, and part of the MoA signed by ASUU and FGN stressed the need to review the NUC Act to make it more potent in arresting the reckless and excessive establishment of universities. The review has not been done.

“The massive and reckless manner by which federal and state governments are establishing universities without making adequate preparations for their funding should be brought to a halt.

“Federal and State governments should focus on adequately funding existing universities to enhance their capacity to admit more students.”