Strike Looms In LASU, School Fees Stand-off Rages On

An impending strike looms in LASU as the ultimatum issued by the ASUU chapter in the institution winds down.

The academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the Lagos State University (LASU) has issued an ultimatum to the authorities of the institution or risk a strike action.

This is contained in the union’s bulletin of April 1 signed by the chapter Chairman Dr. Adekunle Idris.

"We hereby give a 21-day ultimatum effective March 24, to the governing council to implement all matters agreed," it read.

It stated that failure to meet their demands before the expiry of the ultimatum would lead to an indefinite strike.

"At the expiration of this ultimatum, the union will embark on a total, indefinite, and comprehensive strike, if its demands are not met."

According to ASUU, the demands it wants implemented have been agreed upon by the management and the union about a year ago.

The spokesperson of LASU, Kayode Sutton, who spoke with the Guardian newspapers, sad efforts are being made to resolve the dispute as the institution cannot afford another strike action.

"LASU authorities, as well as the chancellor have pleaded with ASUU to show some understanding as we cannot afford yet another strike action," he said

For students, news of the dispute will only be another bad turn of events as they now have to contend with ‘oppressive school fees’ and also the possibility of an interruption of their academic calendar, if ASUU goes on strike.

Meanwhile, the battle between students and authorities of LASU over high school fees is still on.

Very recently, during a protest at the office of the Lagos State government aggrieved students led by National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) South-West Co-ordinator, Mr. Sunday Ashefun, demanded a downward review of LASU school fees.

"These prohibitively high school fees are some of the highest paid by any in the country. Children of the poor can no longer attend LASU and this is poor,” Ashefun said.

Responding to the students, Lagos state governor, Governor Babatunde Fashola had assured of his government’s willingness to assist students with financial challenges.

"If you cannot pay [your fees] we will give you scholarship to cover the course you got admission for,” he had said to the protesting students.

But people have queried the logic in the ‘scholarship’ idea, asking how a student’s 'inability to pay school fees' will be determined.

Students can however take comfort in the fact that a downward review of the prohibitive fees is one of the demands over which ASUU has issued its 21-day ultimatum.

"This policy contradicts the objective of establishing the institution. It is not sustainable and portends great danger to the people of Lagos State, who are desirous of tertiary education," ASUU said.

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