Academic Staff Union of Universities

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Academic Staff Union of Universities
TypeTrade union
Official language
AffiliationsNigeria Labour Congress (NLC)

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is a Nigerian union of university academic staff, founded in 1978. ASUU is an offshoot of the Nigerian Association of University Teachers (NAUT) which was established in 1965. At that time, NAUT consisted of only 5 universities in total including University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Ife and University of Lagos.[1] Professor Victor Emmanuel Osodeke emerged as the body's president on 30 May 2021.[2]


As a successor to the Nigerian Association of University Teachers that was founded in 1965, ASUU was formed in 1978 to cater for the interests of all academic staff in Federal and State universities in Nigeria.[3]

Although ASUU consists of many universities, there are several other universities that are not under ASUU as body. These universities include the following and all private universities in Nigeria. [4]

1. Federal University located in Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

2. Federal University of Ilorin, also known as Unilorin.

3. Delta State University, Abraka – popularly known as DELSU.

ASUU Strikes[edit]

Military regime[edit]

The Union was active in struggles against the military regime during the 1980s.[5] In 1988 the union organized a National Strike to obtain fair wages and university autonomy. As a result, the ASUU was proscribed on 7 August 1988 and all its property seized. It was allowed to resume in 1990, but after another strike was again banned on 23 August 1992. However, an agreement was reached on 3 September 1992 that met several of the union's demands including the right of workers to collective bargaining. The ASUU organized further strikes in 1994 and 1996, protesting against the dismissal of staff by the Sani Abacha military regime.[5]

Fourth Republic[edit]

After the return to democracy in 1999 with the Nigerian Fourth Republic, the union continued to be firm in demanding the rights of university workers against opposition by the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo.[5] In July 2002 Dr. Oladipo Fashina, the then national president of the union, petitioned Justice Mustapha Akanbi of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to investigate the authorities of the University of Ilorin for financial mismanagement and corruption.[6]

In 2007, the ASUU went on strike for three months.[7] In May 2008, it held two one-week "warning strikes" to press a range of demands, including an improved salary scheme and reinstatement of 49 lecturers who were dismissed many years earlier.[8] In June 2009, ASUU ordered its members in federal and state universities nationwide to proceed on an indefinite strike over disagreements with the Federal Government on an agreement it reached with the union about two and a half years earlier.[9] After three months of strikes, in October 2009, the union and other staff unions signed a memorandum of understanding with the government and called off the industrial action.[10] On 1 July 2013, ASUU embarked on another strike which lasted 5 months and 15 days was called off on 16 December 2013.[11] Claims made by ASUU in regards to the strike are centered largely on funding and revitalization of Nigerian public universities as well as a certain earned allowance which it claims to be in an arrears of 92 billion naira. Some Nigerian students said that the strike was a curse to them while others said it was a blessing before the ASUU strike was called.[5]

While the association continues to claim that it is involved in a struggle for Nigerian tertiary education and Nigerian students by extension, many Nigerians perceive the supposed struggle, marked by incessant strike actions, to be malicious and self serving. This image has not been helped by ASUU, who still cannot communicate effectively with the Nigerian populace without sounding arrogant and condescending.[12]

ASUU strike chart (1999–2022)[edit]

ASUU Strike
s/n Year Duration
1 1999 5 months
2 2001 3 months
3 2002 2 weeks
4 2003 6 months
5 2005 2 weeks
6 2006 3 days
7 2007 3 months
8 2008 1 weeks
9 2009 4 months
10 2010 5 months
11 2011 59 days
12 2013 5 months
13 2017 1 months
14 2018 3 months[13]
15 2020 9 months
16 2022 February 14, 2022 - present

Origin of incessant strikes[edit]

These strikes are in response to the Nigerian Government's refusal to uphold the agreement signed. It is a move by the union to force the government into a response. However, this has only yielded negative results.

Impact of strikes on students and stakeholders[edit]


  1. ^ "HISTORY AND STRUGGLES OF ASUU". Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  2. ^ "About ASUU President Professor Emmanuel Osodeke". Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  3. ^ NOCK-Admin. "ASUU IS A TRADE UNION ORGANIZATION IN LINE WITH GLOBAL BEST PRACTICE – NLC". Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  4. ^ "List Of Nigerian Universities Not Under ASUU: Latest & Uptodate". Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges And Admission News. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "HISTORY AND STRUGGLES OF ASUU". Academic Staff Union of Universities. Archived from the original on 10 December 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  6. ^ Sina Babasola (23 July 2002). "ASUU Drags University of Ilorin Authorities to Anti-Graft Commission". Vanguard (Nigeria). Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  7. ^ "ASUU Suspends Strike". My Naija News. 3 July 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  8. ^ Tunde Fatunde (25 May 2008). "NIGERIA: Academic union threatens indefinite strike". University World News. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Academic Staff Union of Universities begins indefinite strike". Nigeria Exchange. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  10. ^ Tunde Fatunde (1 November 2009). "NIGERIA: Universities reopen after strike". University World News. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  11. ^ "At last, ASUU suspends strike". News agency. Vanguard Nigeria. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  12. ^ ADAVBIELE, J. A. "Implications of Incessant Strike Actions on the Implementation of Technical Education Programme in Nigeria" (PDF). Journal of Education and Practice. 6 (8). ISSN 2222-288X.
  13. ^ "All the times ASUU has gone on strike since 1999". 5 November 2018.