The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities(ASUU) is a trade union and a union of intellectuals seeking not only the socio-political and economic/welfare interest of its members within the framework of promoting the cause of university education in Nigeria, but the entire good of Nigerians and Nigeria. The Academic Staff Union of Universities transformed into its present state in 1978 with its roots and various transformations dating back to 1955 when the association of University Teachers (AUT) was formed. Today ASUU is synonymous with struggles. ASUU’s main points of struggle have been for adequate funding, improved salary package, autonomy and academic freedom in order to curb brain drain and ensure the survival of the university system.
The major gains of ASUU struggles particularly in the last two decades or so may be broadly categorized into the intangible and tangible gains. Part of the former relates to the deepening and sustenance of democracy through principled resistance of impunity, violations of autonomy and academic freedom and mobilization of civil society against dictatorship. In the era of military rule, ASUU demystified regimes and therefore laid the foundations for popular resistance by a society
That had been conquered. ASUU has consistently utilised opportunities provided by NEC meetings and “state of the nation publications” to appraise the public issues of national import. Through this, ASUU has prevented the complete takeover of the country by the World Bank and IMF by revealing the lies in the various agenda couched in economic programmes, loan regimes and development frameworks with beautiful acronyms designed to conceal the real motives of exploitation and enslavement. The union has successfully prevented the commercialization of public universities through cunning and crafty terminologies like appropriate pricing and cost sharing, which infact are indirect ways of introducing tuition. ASUU’s opposition to tuition is a principled one guided by its constitution, the need to ensure equity in access and participation as well as to ensure the emergence of a well informed and integrated society. The tangible gains are too numerous to recount . We must however begin with the substantial minimization of impunity, interference and subversion of academic freedom and autonomy particularly in Federal universities. The reversal of the dissolution of councils of Federal universities because of AUU’s insistence that council must be allowed to serve out their terms instead of the subsisting practice where their tenure was at the pleasure of the visitor. The new autonomy bill has arisen from 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement. We are also aware of the fact that the selection of Vice-Chancellors is now largely the business of the council. We are however disturbed by the failure of integrity that has greeted the process in many campuses due to brazen incursion of ethnicity, Religion,influence of cartels and politicians disguised in various garbs. This is one of the greatest challenges confronting the system today and it clearly defines the new frontiers of our struggle to protect the university idea. Education Tax Fund now known as Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and Needs Assessment Intervention Fund are part of the tangible gains.
ASUU Nnamdi Azikiwe University (ASUU NAU) was a transformation of ASUU of the defunct Anambra State University of science and Technology (ASUU ASUTECH) which started in 1982bwith then Dr. Cyprian Oyeka (presently Prof I.C.A Oyeka) as pioneer chairman. Nnamdi Azikiwe University has always been part of ASUU and has actively participated in struggles for the revitalization of the Nigerian University system until the year 2000 when by default it painfully lost the trust of the nation through unaccountable leadership and was suspended. ASUU NAU was in the wilderness until the year 2012 when the sacrificial efforts of committed comrades, restored the branch to the nation with professor Ike Odimegwu as chairperson. The coming back of ASUU to Nnamdi Azikiwe University has no doubt deepened the university culture of pluralism of ideas, restored voice to the academic and indeed the entire staff of the university, and is improving the ethics , ethos and ideals of the university. The dialogical relationship presently existing among the council, Administration and ASUU NAU is rubbing off positively in the university and can get better.
The senior staff association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), UNIZIK chapter, was born in the year 1992. The union with its headquarters at Gwagwalada, Abuja is aimed at promoting the welfare of its members which is drawn from the senior administrative staff in the university (Technical,Executive,Professional groups etc).
The branch has a record of four past executives which were led by:
Barr. Otu Onwudinjo 1992-2000
Comrade Alex Amuzie 2000-2006
Barr DCO Ifenatuora 2006-2009
Comrade Njelita Louis 2009-2016
Without mincing words, the union has exhibited deep sense of maturity in handling management-labour relations that has brought about stability in the system. Again, the union has engaged the management credibility in areas of provision of succour for the workers through sustainable promotions , productivity bonuses, staff trainings and ethical conducts.
In all, the senior staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), UNIZIK has in no small measure contributed to the deepening of the goals and visions of the university through the collaboration of its most senior Administrative officers, directors, Deputy Registrars.
However, aas the aim and objectives of the Union were stated in its constitution, SSANU UNIZIK has continued to offer succour to its teeming members through representation at the committees of thr Vice-Chancellor and the council respectively. These include amongst other things the senior staff Disciplinary Committees, Budget and Monitoring Committee and Earned Allowances Committee.
Non-academic staff union of Education and associated institutions (NASU), is an organisation whose aim is to protect the interest and welfare of its memebers, both internally and nationally. NASU in UNIZIK Awka branch achieves its goals through liaison, dialogue and cooperation with the university management.
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENT
The relationship between NASU and University Management in UNIZIK is always cordial. More often than not, NASU commends the Vice-Chancellor , Prof. Joseph Eberendu Ahanekwu FAS, for his cooperation and assistance to the Union Members.
NASU UNIZIK, Awka also plays a vital role in the area of empowering its members e.g distribution of motorcycles, electronics, acquisition of land for its members at subsidized prices and she currently has the intention of distributing shuttle buses to her members at subsidized rates.
NASU UNIZIK Awka has through the support and approval of our amiable Vice-Chancellor, acquired a piece of land in the university for her proposed branch secretariat.
NASU has her National Headquarters at Abuja as the National Secretariat of the Union which coordinates the administration of previous branches nation-wide. Also, the Union has a branch at every state of the federation. The National President is Comrade Ani, the National Secretary is Comrade Prince Peter Adeyemi, while the state council chairman is Comrade Luke Nweke.
Since the inception of NASU UNIZIK Chapter, the union has passed through various leaders as indicated hereunder
NASU NAU chapter commends the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph E. Ahanekwu, FAS for the rapid transformation of UNIZIK and for the love he has for the branch union. Long live NASU, long live UNIZIK and Long live our amiable Vice-Chancellor.
The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Nnamdi Azikiwe University branch started as Association of University Technologists (ASUTON) from the year 2000 with Late Mr. Oraka as the pioneer Chairman.
The regime of Late Oraka took the association to greater heights, with the emergence of Engr. Alex Okafor as the chairman taking over from late Mr. Oraka, with sir Theo Ubaezeonu as the secretary. This regime came to an end in 2006. Dr. E.E Bassey came on board in 2006 as the chairman with Mr. D.I Mgbojikwe as the secretary. Fortunately in the course of Dr. Bassey’s administration, the association metamorphosed into the National Association of Academic Technologists(NAAT) on November 2007 and duly registered under the provisions of trade union ACT CAP 473 of 1990 as amended by the trade unions Amendment Act. 1996 of Nigeria.
Dr. Bassey eventually handed over to the present regime under the leadership of Rev. C.C Eze, in August 2010 with Dr. G.O Ogbuozobe as the secretary.
NAAT has really come a long way in this university and since its inception has maintained a very cordial relationship with the University Administration.
NAAT is focused to continue this amiable relationship as far as its founding philosophy sustains.