Odiagbe, Sylvester Azamosa
Industrial conflict in Nigerian universities : a case study of the disputes between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis examines the prolonged industrial conflict between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). This thesis provides a historical and sociological account of the origins, development, primary causes, and effects of this industrial conflict in Nigerian universities. Data was sourced from both primary and secondary (documentary) sources and analysed using comparative historical analysis, theoretical analysis and secondary analysis. The thesis concludes that the ongoing industrial conflict between ASUU and the FGN can be understood as having the features of a class dispute and that it entails both economic and political factors. Besides domestic factors directly affecting the disputes (e.g. low wages and conditions of service, poor and erratic funding, rising student population and weak institutional autonomy), this study revealed that external factors (particularly the effects of Nigeria’s macroeconomic policies) contributed to the intensity of the disputes. Moreover, it is argued that historical antecedents, especially the colonial legacies of ethnicity, regionalism, weak legitimacy, corruption and autocracy have helped to shape the growth and development of the higher education system in Nigeria, and therefore of these disputes. Regarding the effects of the crisis, findings reveal that the poor emolument of academic staff coupled with the deterioration in teaching and learning facilities have contributed to the ‘brain drain’ from Nigerian universities, that is, the migration of staff, students and other professionals from the country in search of better opportunities abroad. Consequently, this thesis concludes that the factors affecting the industrial disputes between the ASUU and the FGN have been largely propelled by historical, economic and political factors which have become institutionalised and embedded in the Nigerian polity so that the disputes will continue to be difficult to resolve.
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