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Research Article
Open Access Peer-reviewed

Student’s Perception on the Impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Industrial Actions on University Development in Nigeria

Saliu Ishaq ALABI
Journal of Sociology and Anthropology. 2019, 3(3), 95-104. DOI: 10.12691/jsa-3-3-2
Received September 16, 2019; Revised October 27, 2019; Accepted November 05, 2019

Abstract

The study examined students’ perceptions of the impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial actions on the development of Nigerian public universities. The study setting was the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The study adopted the descriptive research of a survey type of design. A sample size of 392 was generated for the study using the Yaro Yamane formula (1992). Data for this study were collected with use of a questionnaire. Data collected were statistically treated with mean computation and standard deviation. The major findings show that: ASUU industrial actions had moderate functional impacts ( = 2.89) on the university development by: compelling the government to do the needful in ensuring the development of the University, and uncovering the deplorable state of the university. The study also revealed that, ASUU industrial actions had high dysfunctional impacts ( = 3.41) on the university development by: disrupting academic calendar thereby extending students stay on campus; and damaging the reputation of the university system. The study concluded that, if public Nigerian universities are to function effectively, the dysfunctional effects of ASUU industrial actions must be effectively minimised.

1. Introduction

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which emerged in 1978 from the erstwhile Nigerian Association of University Teachers (1965) was registered as a trade union with branches in almost all Federal Universities. Later, the State Universities were accorded Chapter by the union. The principal objectives of ASUU as contained in Rule '2' of its constitution are to: organise all academic staff who are qualified for membership; regulate the relationship between academic staff members and employers; establish and maintain a high standard of academic performance and professional practice; establish and maintain a just and proper conditions of service for its members; and protect and advance the socio-economic and cultural interests of the nation (ASUU constitution, 1978 as amended in 1984). To achieve these objectives, ASUU has engaged the Federal and States Governments over their recalcitrant attitude towards implementing several agreements and memoranda of understanding.

2. Background

Over the years, the Academic Staff Union of Universities have expressed their concerns over the deplorable condition of the educational sector in Nigeria, while billions of naira spent on unproductive ventures, with attendant widespread corruption 1. This pathetic situation has led to the various ASUU strikes over the years. Notably, there were strikes of seven months in 1996; six months each in 1981, 1992, 1994, 2003 and 2013; five months each in 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2010; four months in 2009 and 2018; three months each in 2002, 2007 and 2011; two months in 2001; and one month in 2017. All these cumulated to a total of five years, five months and twenty days (i.e. 65 months and 20 days). Scholars like Albar 2 and Uzoh 3 posited that, the actions of ASUU were not self centered but incited by the quest to resuscitate the falling standard of education. ASUU, thus, agitated for: increased University autonomy; improvement in the provision of educational infrastructure in universities; as well as urging the government to implement the 26% budgetary allocation to education prescribed by UNESCO. The target was to revamp the education system such that Nigerian universities’ graduates are capable of taking up the task of national development and be globally competitive as it was in the 1970’s when Nigeria graduates were accorded high esteem internationally. Furthermore, the agitations of the Academic Staff Union are to avail better conditions of service which would go a long way in stimulating conducive atmosphere for students to accomplish their study. And, this would reduce to the barest minimum if not to zero level, the unskilled graduates that universities are turning out lately.

Unfortunately, the industrial actions that were always embarked upon by ASUU to compel the government to meet the needs of lecturers and to improve funding, autonomy, wages and allowances and infrastructural facilities; always affect the students. During such industrial actions, schools were shut down for months; academic activities paralysed, and students may be exposed to learning, which will encourage the production of unskilled graduates (that is read and pass syndrome). Yusuf 4 observed that, during industrial actions, some students engaged themselves in unproductive activities such as sexual immorality, cultism, cyber scam, gambling, gossips, watching films and reading comic materials for entertainment purposes rather than reading the essential academic materials. Additionally, Akah 5 noted that the incessant industrial actions by ASUU led to the closure of schools for a period of time, which might be specified or indefinite. At such periods, no academic activity took place in the universities. Upon resumption, students in most times were dined opportunity to make up for lost times. This laterally resulted in the compressed academic calendar and syllabus and parts of the curriculum skipped, while some course contents would not be treated. The student would have to write their exams hapzardly, which later metamorphose into decline in quality of education. These scenarios have left many employers with the task of spending millions of Naira in giving training to these graduates before putting them into a proper task. While some employers resort to employing secondary school leavers and given them the training needed, and at the end paying lower monthly payment to them than graduates.

Ostensibly, multifarious studies have been conducted 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 to ascertain the implications of ASUU industrial actions on the university community. However, most of these studies were carried out among lecturers, university administrators and government officials, focusing on the impact of ASUU’s industrial actions on students’ academic development/performance and human resources development. Thus, for neutrality, authenticity, and extension of frontiers of knowledge, the extent of this impact can be better appreciated when considered from the perspective of its wider implications on the recipients of university education (students). This is because students are at the hub of the learning process. Likewise, they are always at the receiving end of ASUU’s industrial actions because their educational success had always been in jeopardy whenever there was a industrial action. This thus justified the investigative attention paid to this study.

2.1. Statement of the Problem

The university worldwide is regarded as the citadel of knowledge, the fountain of intellectualism, the most appropriate ground for training of future leaders. However, over the last thirty years in Nigeria, the University system has witnessed unprecedented industrial actions than other sectors. Statistics revealed that from 1981 to 2018, ASUU embarked on industrial actions 22 times to drive home its demands. The last one in 2018 lasted more than four months. These numerous industrial actions always led to the disruption and fluctuation of the University academic calendar as well as loss of academic sessions, which might pave way for mediocrity and academic backwardness. Aside the mediocrity, industrial actions delayed and extended the duration of studies in university in the face of age barrier in Nigerian labour market. The plummet of the economic value of graduates, which is a major problem. In some cases, industrial actions avail students for criminal activities, such as armed robbery, kidnapping, and cultism. These crimes have made the youth a problem to societal peace and order in Nigeria. The strike could also account for why many Nigerians students prefer to attend tertiary institutions in neighboring African countries (Republic of Benin and Ghana) and South-Africa.

Surprisingly, researchers 3, 10 postulated that ASUU industrial actions is the last option that is potent enough to influence government decisions in the face of underfunding of the university system, infrastructural decay and deficit, inadequate instructional facilities and poor conditions of services for academic staff. These positions, however, have generated a lot of heated arguments and diverse opinions among stakeholders in the educational sector. Some scholars and peace experts believed that ASUU is justified in carrying out the incessant industrial actions considering the comatose condition of public universities. Meanwhile, parents, religious leaders as well as some sections of the general public believed that ASUU is not sensitive to the plight of the students who were being negatively affected by such actions. Even the government argued that ASUU’s demands are unrealistic and unjustifiable when considered alongside the needs of other sectors and sister unions. ASUU was labeled as greedy, inconsiderate, as well as a political watch dog of government’s actions and inactions, which neglected its primary mandate of teaching, research and community service.

Apparently, these argument and counter argument further led to unbridled anxiety, anger, uneasiness and frustration among parents, clergies, traditional rulers, business men and women, civil society groups, civil servants, politicians, union members, government and university students in particular who were enraged at the state of the nation’s university education as a result of ASUU incessant industrial actions. Without prevaricating the perennial nature of ASUU industrial actions in Nigeria’s public university system is indicative of the fact that both ASUU and the government do not understand the scale and dimension of the functional and dysfunctional impacts of incessant industrial actions on the growth and development of public universities, considering the trajectory of the cycle of industrial actions which has made some quarters of Nigerian students to believe that ASUU industrial actions was a curse to them while, others believe it was a blessing in disguise. In this light of this, the study focused on the impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities’ industrial actions on the development of universities in Nigeria.

2.2. Objectives of the Study

Generally, the study aimed at investigating student’s perception of the impact ASUU’s industrial actions on the development of Nigerian public universities. Specifically, the objectives of this study are to:

i. determine the functional impacts of ASUU’s industrial actions on the university development as expressed by undergraduates; and

ii. examine the dysfunctional impacts of ASUU’s industrial actions on the university development as expressed by undergraduates.

2.3. Research Questions

This study seeks to address the fundamental problems of this study with the following questions:

1. What are the functional impacts of ASUU’s industrial actions on the university development as expressed by undergraduates?

2. What are the dysfunctional impacts of ASUU’s industrial actions on the university development as expressed by undergraduates?

3. Literature Review

3.1. Concept of Industrial Actions

Industrial actions have been observed by scholars and researchers in varied capacity. According to Fajana 11, industrial action is often a result of conflicting interest between employers and employees in respect to working conditions, wage demands, and management policies. Expanding on this definition, industrial action refers to any action taken by any member or body of workers acting in combination or under a common understanding 12 as a means of compelling their employer to accept or not to accept terms or conditions affecting employment 13. Industrial action occurs as a result of dispute between employees and employers of labour, which could finally result to strikes, lockouts 14 of which, both parties are affected in the short or long run. In view of this, Akah 5 affirmed that, industrial action is a characteristic attribute of collective bargaining in particular and industrial relations in general. It is the weapon of power in the hands of ASUU against employers (University management and the Federal Government) utilised whenever situation demands. From the dawn of the second republic till date, ASUU have had a series of face-offs with the Federal Government resulting to industrial actions (See Table 1).

3.2. Development of Nigerian Universities

The concept of university development is difficult to define. It is continually evolving, which makes it more difficult to define. According to Abubakar 15, development is the improvement of a country’s productive capacity through changes in social attitude, values and behaviours. It also refers to changes toward social and political equality and eradication of poverty. Sianipar, Dowaki, Yudoko and Adhiutama 16 opined that development is sometimes erroneously regarded as growth; but a difference exists. Development is regarded as growth plus change. The implication is that development incorporates both growth and change. Change could be in the realms of educational, social, cultural, political, and economic in both quantitative and qualitative dimensions. In this context, development could be seen as a positive and beneficial transformation of the lives of the people not only in terms of their economic activity and productivity, but also of the existence of various institutions and provisions that ensure the fulfillment of their needs as human beings 17. Adeoti 18 submitted that, the development of university started with the agitation of Nigerians for a more comprehensive higher education which led to the Asquith and Elliot Commissions on Higher Education. Their reports in 1943 favoured the establishment of universities in Nigeria. The first higher educational institution in Nigeria was the Yaba Higher College, which was established in 1932. Consequently, in 1948, the University College Ibadan was founded as an affiliate of the University of London. University College continued as the only University Institution in Nigeria until 1960 19.

In April 1959, the Nigerian government commissioned an inquiry (Ashby Commission) to advise it on the higher education needs of the new nation for its first two decades of Independence. Before the submission of the report in September, 1960, the Eastern Region government established its own university at Nsukka in 1960 now known as University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The recommendation of the Ashby Report according to Amadi and Adeyemi 20, included that: all universities in Nigeria should be national in outlook; all the universities should have B. A. (Education) degree courses; the Federal Government should give support to the development of new Universities; a National Universities Commission should be set up to have undisputed control over the affairs of the universities, particularly in terms of finance, staff and courses; a university should be established in Lagos with day and evening courses in business, commerce and economics; there should be wider diversity and greater flexibility in university education; courses in engineering, medicine, law, commerce and agriculture should be offered; University should be established in the north using the old site of the Nigerian college in Zaria as its base; University College Ibadan, should move away from its conservative position, widen its curriculum and develop into a full university; and all new Nigerian universities should be independent of one another and each should confer its own degrees.

Consequently, after the recommendation of the Ashby Report, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife (formerly, the University of Ife) came to be in the West in 1961 and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was established in the North in 1962. In 1962, the University of Lagos was established. Also in 1962, the University College Ibadan (UCI) transformed into a substantive university. This development made UCI, Ibadan and University of Lagos the first two federal universities in Nigeria while other three were regional. In 1970, the newly created Bendel State established a university known as University of Benin. The six universities established during 1960 and 1970 are referred to as first generation universities. Consequently, the National Open University of Nigeria 19 stressed further that in 1975, all the six universities mentioned above became federal universities while seven new ones were in existence by 1977 to reflect the nineteen states structure of Nigeria as at 1976. These second generation universities as they were referred to include the University of Calabar (1975); the University of llorin (1976); the University of Jos (1975); the University of Sokoto (1977); the University of Maiduguri (1977); the University of Port Harcourt (1977); and Bayero University Kano (1977). They became federal universities by virtue of Decree 46 of 1977 which provided that the for Federal Government take-over of all universities in Nigeria 19.

The 1979 constitutions transferred university education from the exclusive to the concurrent legislative list. By this provision, states governments were free to establish universities if so desired. Between 1979 and 1983, the following universities were founded: Bendel State University, Ekpoma; Anambra State University of Technology, Enugu; Imo State University; Etiti; Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye; Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt; Cross River State University, Uyo; and Lagos State University, Ijanikin. Seven Federal Universities of Technology emerged between 1981 and 1985. These were the Federal Universities of Technology Bauchi (1982); Markurdi (1981 / 1982); Owerri (1981 / 1982); Yola (1982 / 1983); Akure ( 1982 / 1983); Abeokuta (1983 / 1984); Minna ( 1983 / 1984). The Federal University of Technology, Yola, became an outpost of the University of Maiduguri. The University of Jos absorbed the Federal University of Technology, Makurdi as the out-post of the former, while the Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta became a campus of the University of Lagos 20. Following the dawn of the third republic (from May 29, 1999 till date), there was a steady increase in university establishments across the nation. The fourth generation universities are those established between 1991 till date. They included more state universities, National Open University and private universities.

3.3. State of Nigerian Public Universities and the Rationale for ASUU Industrial Actions

In Nigeria, the universities have contributed to manpower development. The university has helped to create a democratically strong, self-reliant and dynamic economy in Nigeria with lots of opportunities for young citizens 20. Irrespective of the numerous advantages of university education in Nigeria, the educational sector still faces numerous challenges. These challenges have deterred the sector from achieving optimum results and meeting up the requirements of the 21st century. The major problem facing educational sector in Nigeria is funding. The funds provided to universities are inadequate as compared to the population of students seeking admission into the available 174 universities (95 public and 79 private), 113 polytechnics (69 public and 44 private), 151 colleges of education (82 public and 69 private) and monotechnics, with a combined carrying capacity of 600,000 (see Table 2).

Statistics from Table 2 can be attributed to the resultant effect of the drastic reduction of budgetary allocation to the sector (see Table 3). Analysis from Table 3 shows that the educational sector which is the most important in Nigeria still remains underfunded and fails to meet the 26% benchmark recommendation of United Nations Education, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for developing countries. Comparing the 2012 with 19 selected countries across the, statistics shows that the percentage allocation to education in Nigeria is inadequate compare to other African countries like Ghana and Kenya (see Table 4) and this position has been sustained from 2012 till date.

As indicated in Table 3, it is unfortunate that allocation to education was the least (8.4%) among the selected countries while that of Ghana was the highest (31.0%). This statistics gave a an eyebrow as university stakeholders, scholars 1, 23 argued that, the Nigerian government has no interest in the development of its universities. The same government that has been shying away from its responsibility to its university; that, through AMCON the sum of N5 trillion ($30 billion) was released by the CBN to bail out some liquidated banks in Nigeria in 2008 and the government also gave out N100 Billion to Nollywood in the same year. These institutions that were bailed out, as noted by Odim, Annastashia and Solomon 24 were not owned by the government but the universities that it owns are being neglected without the government given them adequate attention in terms of funding. Without prevaricating, the whole ordeal of the recent strike lies in the full implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement. This came into being when ASUU declared a total, indefinite and comprehensive strike on the 4th of December, 2011 in order to prevail on government to sincerely and judiciously implement the 2009 agreement it entered freely into with ASUU. Specifically, ASUU identified the following key areas that were yet to be implemented to include: funding requirements for revitalization of the Nigerian Universities; Federal Government assistance to State Universities; establishment of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO); progressive increase in Annual Budgetary Allocation to Education Sector to 26% between 2009 and 2020; earned allowances; amendment of the Pension/Retirement Age of Academics on the professional cadre from 65 to 70 years; reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils; transfer of Federal Government landed properties to Universities; and setting up of Research Development Council and provision of research equipments to laboratories and classrooms in Universities. Out of nine items highlighted, only two of the commitments, namely, reinstatement of Governing Councils and the Amendment of Retirement Age Act were met 1.

For the past nine years (2009 – 2018), several steps, including formal and informal consultations, meetings, personal contacts, have been employed to avert resumption of the suspended strike action 1, 23, 24, 25. ASUU had exhausted all available options. ASUU members could not understand why Government finds it difficult to fulfill an agreement voluntarily entered into with the Union in 2009 as well as the MoU that was introduced following ASUU protest against government demonstration of bad faith in 2012.

3.4. Impacts of ASUU Industrial Actions on University Development

In the Nigerian industrial scene, opinion differs on the impact of industrial unrest in Nigerian public universities. Some scholars consider it to be negative, while others are seeing it to be positive, believing that without industrial unrest (particularly strike actions), the condition of the public universities in Nigeria would have been worst today. Badekale, Ngige and Hamman 7 believed that industrial unrest has awakened a new consciousness in the society where ASUU is now considered as a powerful force to be reckoned with in guarding and protecting the interest of its members and commitment to the transformation of the universities to a world class standard. The study conducted by Uzoh 3 attested that the wage structure that is in place in Nigerian public Universities today came out of ASUU struggles. The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) saddled with the responsibility of providing funds for the provision and upgrading of teaching and learning facilities and training of University staff is a brain child of ASUU. The Needs Assessment Fund that is also currently used in setting up structures, providing teaching and learning facilities and of course training of academic staff of Nigerian Universities is a fall out of the 2013 ASUU strike that lasted for six months. The study concluded that, ASUU has always played a leading role in human resource development for Nigerian Universities.

However, studies by Akah 5, Nwaoma and Omeire 8, Odim, Annastashia and Solomon 24, Yusuf, Salako, Adedina and Ayelotan 9 reported contrary findings. Akah 5 observed that, incessant ASUU industrial actions result, in the long run, in poor educational quality, and consequent critical shortage of skilled manpower; disillusioned youths who lose interest in tertiary education and embrace wrong, materialistic values; poor political leadership, and the entrenchment of mediocrity at all levels of national life; neglected teachers who are re-cycled into the educational system with devastating consequences; general socio-political stagnation and international relegation among the committee of nations. Odim, Annastashia and Solomon 24 in their observations of the impact of ASUU’s industrial actions on the national economy noted that the prolonged and incessant ASUU/FGN industrial conflict hindered the social integration, rural regeneration, political efficiency, cultural development and maintenance, human resource development, socio-economic progress and potential economic development of Nigeria. Yusuf, Salako, Adedina and Ayelotan 9 explored the implication of the incessant industrial action by academic staff unions and found out that strike action disrupts academic calendar resulting in idleness that made students unable to speedily regenerate towards academic exercises at the resumption. Consequently, poor academic performance in the post-strike semester is rampant. Nwaoma and Omeire 8 also reported negative effects/impacts of ASUU’s industrial conflicts on the Nigerian University System. The duo observed that students’ graduation rate has been seriously hampered in the system. This was followed by lowered goal attainment or research output as well as low global image or rating of the universities. Okuwa and Campbell 26 examined the influence of ASUU strike on the choice of 2000 household demand for higher education in nine selected local governments of Oyo State. The result of the study showed that 80% of the households sent their children to private higher institutions because of strike in public institutions irrespective of the feet.

3.5. Theoretical Tenets of the Paper

A theoretical framework provides the basis upon which studies are built. This study is hinged on the Social Conflict Theory (SCT) proposed by Lewis Coser in 1956. The principal assumption of SCT rests on two opposing realistic viewpoints on the outcome of industrial conflict 27, that is, industrial conflict has both productive (functional) as well as destructive (dysfunctional) potentials/outcomes 28, 29. The functional outcomes of industrial conflict in organisations include: stimulation of innovation, creativity, and growth; improvement in organisational; alternative solutions to a problem may be found; conflict may lead to synergistic solutions to common problems; individual and group performance may be enhanced; individuals and groups may be forced to search for new approaches; and individuals and groups may be required to articulate and clarify their positions. Dysfunctionally unresolved or reoccurrence of conflict may cause: job stress, burnout, and dissatisfaction; the distortion and withholding of information to the detriment of others within the organisation, hostility, distrust, and suspicion during interactions; reduction in institutional performance; and increase in resistance to change. The preceding discussion suggests that the gamut of ASUU’s industrial actions has both functional and dysfunctional impacts/consequences.

4. Methodology

The design of this study is a descriptive research of a survey type, aimed at ascertaining the impact Academic Staff Union of Universities industrial actions on the university development as perceived by undergraduates. This is in line with Creswell 30 who remarked that descriptive research gives the researcher the opportunity of sampling the opinions of significant large number of sample from the population of study so as to make generalisation with the responses valid.

The study was carried out in Oyo State, specifically at the University of Ibadan (Unibadan), Ibadan. Unibadan was purposively chosen because of its historical antecedents of active unionisms, as a premier University in Nigeria. Therefore, the study is targeted at 18,551 undergraduates across 13 faculties at the University of Ibadan (Office of the Registrar of University of Ibadan). The undergraduates were chosen because they are always at the receiving end during an industrial action. Consequently, the sample size for this study was calculated using the Yaro Yamane’s formula (1992). The computation is as follows:

Where

n = Sample size

N = Population of Study

e = Tolerable error (5%)

Accounting Staff.

Therefore:

n- 391.557 or approx. 392.

Furthermore, by means of total enumeration and random sampling techniques, 392 undergraduates of Unibadan were selected. By this, seven out of 13 faculties at Unibadan were randomly selected, while 56 students were selected from each sampled faculty. This is in line with the assertion made by Abdulraheem and Atunde 31 that a researcher can adopt and randomly select the entire sample size in a study if it is institutional based, manageable, and the subjects can be easily accessed.

The research instrument used for data collection in this study is a four (4) point Likert scale 18-item self-designed questionnaire. The face and content validity of the instrument was ascertained by giving copies of the questionnaire, along-side the objectives of the study to three experts; two in Labour Studies, and an Evaluation Specialist. They checked the adequacy of the items to see if it would actually achieve its aim. Their comments and suggestions were dully adhered to for the final production of the questionnaire. Also, to ensure that the items in the questionnaire were consistent in measuring what they purported to; a pilot study was conducted on 30 selected students of Ladoke Akintola University in Ogbomosho, which was outside the area of study still in Oyo State. Their responses were analysed using Cronbach Alpha Reliability method. The reliability coefficient value of 0.74 was obtained. Furthermore, the researcher, with the help of three research assistants, administered 392 copies of the questionnaire directly on the subjects. The direct approach gave room for timely completion and return of the completed copies of the questionnaire. The response rate of the questionnaire was 97.7%, as 383 out of 392 administered questionnaires were returned and filled correctly. Data collected from the field were analysed with mean and standard deviation and a cut-off point of 2.50 was considered. This implies that if Mean > 2.5, the item is accepted and when the Mean < 2.5, the item is rejected. The grand mean values were rated as: 3.25 - 4.00 for High Impact (HI), 2.50 - 3.24 for Moderate Impact (MI) and 0.00 - 2.49 for Low Impact (LI).

5. Results and Discussion

5.1. Results

The results of this study were presented in tables according to the individual research questions.

Research Question 1: What are the functional impacts of ASUU’s industrial actions on the university development as expressed by undergraduates?

Analysis from Table 5 showed the level of agreement of respondents with items 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7, with mean values 2.92, 3.78, 3.27, 3.10, and 2.60 respectively, which are above the 2.50 criterion score. The implies that, ASUU incessant industrial actions: uncovers the deplorable state of the university; compels the government to do the needful in ensuring the development of the University; led to improved conditions of service for staff (lecturers); led to autonomy of the universities against the overbearing influence of government; and led to providing funds for the provision of training of academic staff (lecturers). However, the mean values of 2.49, 2.48 and 2.45 respectively are observed to be below the criterion limit of 2.50 for acceptance level. This implies that the respondents are of the opinion that, ASUU incessant industrial actions have not: led to the revitalisation of public universities to meet national and international standards; led to release of funds used to meet the immediate needs of our universities; and led to improvement in the physical conditions for teaching, learning and research. On the overall, the mean value 2.89 indicates that, ASUU industrial actions have functional impacts on the university development moderately.

Research Question 2: What are the dysfunctional impacts of ASUU’s industrial actions on university development as expressed by undergraduates?

Results from Table 6 shows the respondents’ agreement with all the items (items 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18) respectively, which are above the 2.50 criterion score. Accordingly, items 11, 10, 18, 13, 9, and 14 were highly ranked, with mean values 3.77, 3.70, 3.67, 3.56, 3.55, and 3.45 respectively. This is an indication that, ASUU incessant industrial actions: disrupts academic calendar thereby extending students stay on campus; leads to closure of Universities; damages the reputation of the university system; affect study habit thereby encouraging the read and pass syndrome amongst students; paralyses all activities in universities; and leads to migration of students from public to private and foreign universities locally and internationally. On the overall, the mean value 3.41 indicates that, ASUU’s industrial actions had high dysfunctional impacts on the university development.

5.2. Discussion

The purpose of university education is to help produce competent work force that will help contribute to the growth and develop of the society in all spheres of life: educationally, economically, socially, religiously, politically and otherwise. This laudable goal of Nigerian universities cannot be, and have not been perfectly attained in the event of unstable university educational system as a result of government insensitivity to the required need of university education. To curb this negligence, staff of Nigerian universities resort mostly, to the use of the non-violent instrument of civil disobedience (strike action) to drive home their demands which in-turn brought about some changes and challenges in the academic system. In view of this, findings from the first research question revealed that, ASUU incessant industrial actions: uncovers the deplorable state of the university; compels the government to do the needful in ensuring the development of the University; improved conditions of service for staff (lecturers); led to autonomy of the universities against the overbearing influence of government; and led to the provision of fund for training of academic staff (lecturers), with mean values 2.92, 3.78, 3.27, 3.10, and 2.60 respectively. This finding tallies with that of Badekale, Ngige and Hamman 7 who observed that industrial unrest has awakened a new consciousness in the society where ASUU is now considered a powerful force to be reckoned as far as protecting the interest of its members and showing commitment to the transformation of the universities to a world class standard. This is further corroborated with the study conducted by Uzoh 3 who discovered that, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) saddled with the responsibility of providing funds for the provision and upgrading of teaching and learning facilities and training of University staff is a brain child of ASUU; and the Needs Assessment Fund that is also currently used in setting up structures, providing teaching and learning facilities and of course training of academic staff of Nigerian Universities is a fall out of ASUU incessant industrial actions.

Findings from the second research question revealed that, ASUU’s incessant industrial actions: disrupts academic calendar thereby extending students stay on campus; leads to closure of Universities; damages the reputation of the university system; affect study habit thereby encouraging the read and pass syndrome amongst students; paralyses all activities in universities; and leads to migration of students from public to private and foreign universities locally and internationally. This result further reiterates the high dysfunctional impacts ASUU industrial actions had on the university development, which is in line with the popular sayings that “when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers it”. The grass, in this case is the university community especially students who bear the brunt of the disagreement. This is because most protracted industrial actions distort the school calendar. The after-effect is prolonged school year that exceeds stipulated periods. The most reason 80% of households sent their children to private higher institutions as well as seeks greener educational pursuit outside the shores of the country; irrespective of the price/cost 26. In the same vein, Kawugana 32 noted that students who are supposed to do a four year course will later end up spending five years and those that are supposed to spend five years in school might end up spending six to seven years in the school for a programme. Additionally, incessant industrial actions dwindle the academic development and performances of students. As learning is suspended for a long period, the students reading abilities fall. Even the knowledge acquired during the session is even forgotten. This mostly turned some students into certificate rather than knowledge seekers. This is one major cause of producing unqualified/half-baked graduates who are deficient in their academic discipline. Ostensibly, the finding of this study corroborated previous studies 4, 5, 8, 9, 24 who independently reported similar results.

6. Conclusion and Recommendations

Learning across the various universities in Nigeria is constantly hindered by ASUU’s industrial actions. These industrial actions were usually caused by disagreement between the government (Federal and State) and ASUU, for non-implementation or partial implementation of signed agreements. The disagreement between government and academic union often resulted in deadlock that usually had serious impacts on the development of education and manpower development. In view of this, the present study found that ASUU’s industrial action had a moderate functional (for instance, it compelled the government to do the needful in ensuring the development of the University and improved academic autonomy. The dysfunctional impact of the industrial action has far fetched implications, as it transmitted to disruption of the academic calendar, closure of universities and negative reputation for the university system. Thus, if the university is to benefit from ASUU’s industrial actions, the dysfunctional effects must be reduced or minimised.

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are advanced.

1. The government should make efforts to meet the requests of ASUU in due time and invest more in the educational sector to prevent incessant industrial actions.

2. The government should develop actions such as organising meetings and interactive sessions that would help to checkmate incessant industrial actions.

3. There should be the reduction of bureaucracies to enhance effective communication between ASUU officials and government bodies.

4. Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) should continue to demonstrate spirit of tolerance so as to ensure the stability of academic calendars, sessions, and programmes of public universities. By doing this, the dysfunctional impacts of industrial actions will be minimised.

5. Both ASUU and Government should be willing to shift ground on some demands, instead of fighting to the end. This calls for a little bit of compromise and dialogue from both sides in conflict.

6. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity should be strengthened with appropriate legislation to engage ASUU effectively in dialogue on the best practices to resolving industrial conflict in public universities.

7. The Federal and State government should work in partnership with the ASUU at all levels in ensuring that the dysfunctional outcomes of industrial actions in universities are averted.

References

[1]  Academic Staff Union of Universities (2013). The ASUU’s press briefing on the current situation of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN)/Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) dispute by the President, Dr. Nasir Fagge August 20, 2013.
In article      
 
[2]  Albar A. A (2016). The influence of university strikes on educational systems: An exploratory pilot study on Nigerian students. International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology, 6 (3), 45-54.
In article      
 
[3]  Uzoh, B.C. (2017). An assessment of the impact of academic staff union of universities (ASUU) on human resource development in Nigerian universities. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7 (4), 740-747.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Yusuf, F.A. (2017). Student’s perception of strike actions on academic performance in nigeria university: Implications for best practices and counselling. SMCC Higher Education Research Journal, 3, 1- 6.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Akah, A.U. (2018). ASUU strike: The federal government and Nigerian educational system. International Journal of Education and Research, 6 (5), 19-32.
In article      
 
[6]  Ajayi, J.O. (2014). ASUU strikes and academic performance of students in Ekiti State University Ado-Ekiti. International Journal of Management Business Research, 4 (1), 19-34.
In article      
 
[7]  Badekale, A. F., Ngige, C. V. & Hamman, J. I. (2016). Assessment of the impact of industrial disputes on teaching effectiveness of academic staff in Adamawa State Polytechnic, Yola, Nigeria. International Journal of Capacity Building in Education and Management (IJCBEM), 3 (1), 59-66.
In article      
 
[8]  Nwaoma, P.C. & Omeire, C.O. (2014). Emerging trends in workplace conflict and conflict resolution in the Nigerian university system. International Journal of Business and Management Invention, 3 (1), 1-10.
In article      
 
[9]  Yusuf S.A., Salako M. A., Adedina, L. & Ayelotan, O. I. (2015). Implication of academic staff union strike action on students’ academic performance: Ex-post-facto evidence from University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria. Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 3 (8), 12-24.
In article      
 
[10]  Ibrahim M.D. & Yakubu O.S. (2017). An analysis of newspaper coverage of Federal Government, Academic Staff Union of Universities crisis in Nigeria (July -December 2013). M C C, 1 (1), 39-52.
In article      
 
[11]  Fajana, S. (2006). Industrial relations in Nigeria: Theory and features (3rd Ed.). Lagos: Labofin and Company.
In article      
 
[12]  Enenya, A. N. & Maduabum, C. P. (2013). Course material on industrial relations in Nigeria (PSM 815). Abuja: National Open University of Nigeria.
In article      
 
[13]  Agbana, A. F. (2015). Industrial crisis, conflict resolution and collective bargaining in University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State. M.Phil thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
In article      
 
[14]  Orji, M.G., Ringim, K.J., Boman, S.A. & Emmanuel, A. (2016). Trade unionism on academic performance and development of Nigerian universities: A Comparative Study. Journal of World Economic Research. 5 (6), 91-100.
In article      View Article
 
[15]  Abubakar, A. B. (2013). Education and sustainable national development in Nigeria: challenges and way forward. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 14, 65-72.
In article      View Article
 
[16]  Sianipar, C. P. M., Dowaki, K., Yudoko, G. & Adhiutama, A. (2013). Seven pillars of survivability: Appropriate technology with a human face. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 2(4), 1-18.
In article      
 
[17]  Ajibola A. L. & Audu, H. (2014). Promoting sustainable development in Nigeria via Civic Education. Journal of Education and Practice, 5 (34), 119-126.
In article      
 
[18]  Adeoti, E. O. (2016).The ford foundation and development of western education in Nigeria: A Historical Evaluation. European Scientific Journal, 12 (10), 315-327.
In article      View Article
 
[19]  National Open University of Nigeria (2015). Course material on topical issues in educational administration (EDA 807). Abuja: National Open University of Nigeria.
In article      
 
[20]  Amadi, M. N. & Adeyemi. J. K. (eds) (2016). Course material on issues and problems in higher education in Nigeria (Revised). Abuja: National Open University of Nigeria.
In article      
 
[21]  Nigeria Budget office (www.budgetoffice.gov.ng).
In article      
 
[22]  World Bank (2019). Government expenditure on education. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.XPD.TOTL.GB.ZS (assessed 24/04/2019).
In article      
 
[23]  Ogbette, A.S., Eke, I.E. & Ori, O.E. (2017). Causes, effects and management of ASUU strikes in Nigeria, 2003-2013. Journal of Research and Development, 3 (3), 14-23.
In article      
 
[24]  Odim, O.O., Annastashia, I.A. & Solomon A. A. (2018). Effect of strikes on management and planning of educational activities in Nigerian universities. Global Journal of Educational Research, 17, 1-8.
In article      View Article
 
[25]  Akintoye, E. O. & Uhunmwuangho, S. O. (2018). Analysis of the effects of frequent strikes on academic performance of students in universities in Nigeria: Edo State as a focal point. African Research Review, 12 (1), 56-65.
In article      View Article
 
[26]  Okuwa, O.B. & Campbell, O.A. (2011). The influence of strike on the choice of higher education demand in Oyo State, Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS), 2 (4), 275-280.
In article      
 
[27]  Coser, L. A. (1956). The functions of social conflict. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
In article      
 
[28]  Ohanmu, O.K. & Fayeye, J.O. (2017). Conflict management in Nigerian school system. In Olubor, R.O., Abdulkareem, A.Y., Alabi, A.T., Adeyanju, F. (eds.). Educational management: New perspectives. Nigeria: Amfitop Books.
In article      
 
[29]  Rahim, M.A. (2012). Managing conflict in organizations (6th Ed.). London: Quorum Books.
In article      
 
[30]  Creswell, J. W. (2009). Designing design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd Ed.). United States of America: Sage Publications Inc.
In article      
 
[31]  Abdulraheem, J.W. & Atunde, M.O. (2018). Human resource management practices and library personnel job performance in public university libraries in North-Central Nigeria. Journal of Educational Though, 7 (2), 90-114.
In article      
 
[32]  Kawugana, A. (2016). The impact of incessant strikes on the education sector in Nigeria. International Institute of Academic Research and Development, 2 (5), 67-72.
In article      
 

APPENDIX I

SPSS DATA RESULTS

Descriptives (Functional impacts of ASUU industrial actions)

[DataSet0] C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents\ALABI AND ATUNDE DATA.sav

Descriptives (Dysfunctional impacts of ASUU industrial actions)

[DataSet0] C:\Documents and Settings\My Documents\ALABI AND ATUNDE DATA.sav

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2019 Saliu Ishaq ALABI

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Cite this article:

Normal Style
Saliu Ishaq ALABI. Student’s Perception on the Impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Industrial Actions on University Development in Nigeria. Journal of Sociology and Anthropology. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2019, pp 95-104. http://pubs.sciepub.com/jsa/3/3/2
MLA Style
ALABI, Saliu Ishaq. "Student’s Perception on the Impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Industrial Actions on University Development in Nigeria." Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 3.3 (2019): 95-104.
APA Style
ALABI, S. I. (2019). Student’s Perception on the Impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Industrial Actions on University Development in Nigeria. Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 3(3), 95-104.
Chicago Style
ALABI, Saliu Ishaq. "Student’s Perception on the Impact of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Industrial Actions on University Development in Nigeria." Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 3, no. 3 (2019): 95-104.
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  • Table 4. A comparism of the percentage (%) of budgetary allocation to education of Nigeria and some selected countries as at 2017
  • Table 5. Mean scores of undergraduate students on the functional impacts of ASUU industrial actions on university development
  • Table 6. Mean scores of undergraduate students on the dysfunctional impacts of ASUU industrial actions on university development
[1]  Academic Staff Union of Universities (2013). The ASUU’s press briefing on the current situation of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN)/Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) dispute by the President, Dr. Nasir Fagge August 20, 2013.
In article      
 
[2]  Albar A. A (2016). The influence of university strikes on educational systems: An exploratory pilot study on Nigerian students. International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology, 6 (3), 45-54.
In article      
 
[3]  Uzoh, B.C. (2017). An assessment of the impact of academic staff union of universities (ASUU) on human resource development in Nigerian universities. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7 (4), 740-747.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Yusuf, F.A. (2017). Student’s perception of strike actions on academic performance in nigeria university: Implications for best practices and counselling. SMCC Higher Education Research Journal, 3, 1- 6.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Akah, A.U. (2018). ASUU strike: The federal government and Nigerian educational system. International Journal of Education and Research, 6 (5), 19-32.
In article      
 
[6]  Ajayi, J.O. (2014). ASUU strikes and academic performance of students in Ekiti State University Ado-Ekiti. International Journal of Management Business Research, 4 (1), 19-34.
In article      
 
[7]  Badekale, A. F., Ngige, C. V. & Hamman, J. I. (2016). Assessment of the impact of industrial disputes on teaching effectiveness of academic staff in Adamawa State Polytechnic, Yola, Nigeria. International Journal of Capacity Building in Education and Management (IJCBEM), 3 (1), 59-66.
In article      
 
[8]  Nwaoma, P.C. & Omeire, C.O. (2014). Emerging trends in workplace conflict and conflict resolution in the Nigerian university system. International Journal of Business and Management Invention, 3 (1), 1-10.
In article      
 
[9]  Yusuf S.A., Salako M. A., Adedina, L. & Ayelotan, O. I. (2015). Implication of academic staff union strike action on students’ academic performance: Ex-post-facto evidence from University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria. Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 3 (8), 12-24.
In article      
 
[10]  Ibrahim M.D. & Yakubu O.S. (2017). An analysis of newspaper coverage of Federal Government, Academic Staff Union of Universities crisis in Nigeria (July -December 2013). M C C, 1 (1), 39-52.
In article      
 
[11]  Fajana, S. (2006). Industrial relations in Nigeria: Theory and features (3rd Ed.). Lagos: Labofin and Company.
In article      
 
[12]  Enenya, A. N. & Maduabum, C. P. (2013). Course material on industrial relations in Nigeria (PSM 815). Abuja: National Open University of Nigeria.
In article      
 
[13]  Agbana, A. F. (2015). Industrial crisis, conflict resolution and collective bargaining in University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Kwara State. M.Phil thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
In article      
 
[14]  Orji, M.G., Ringim, K.J., Boman, S.A. & Emmanuel, A. (2016). Trade unionism on academic performance and development of Nigerian universities: A Comparative Study. Journal of World Economic Research. 5 (6), 91-100.
In article      View Article
 
[15]  Abubakar, A. B. (2013). Education and sustainable national development in Nigeria: challenges and way forward. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 14, 65-72.
In article      View Article
 
[16]  Sianipar, C. P. M., Dowaki, K., Yudoko, G. & Adhiutama, A. (2013). Seven pillars of survivability: Appropriate technology with a human face. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 2(4), 1-18.
In article      
 
[17]  Ajibola A. L. & Audu, H. (2014). Promoting sustainable development in Nigeria via Civic Education. Journal of Education and Practice, 5 (34), 119-126.
In article      
 
[18]  Adeoti, E. O. (2016).The ford foundation and development of western education in Nigeria: A Historical Evaluation. European Scientific Journal, 12 (10), 315-327.
In article      View Article
 
[19]  National Open University of Nigeria (2015). Course material on topical issues in educational administration (EDA 807). Abuja: National Open University of Nigeria.
In article      
 
[20]  Amadi, M. N. & Adeyemi. J. K. (eds) (2016). Course material on issues and problems in higher education in Nigeria (Revised). Abuja: National Open University of Nigeria.
In article      
 
[21]  Nigeria Budget office (www.budgetoffice.gov.ng).
In article      
 
[22]  World Bank (2019). Government expenditure on education. Retrieved from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.XPD.TOTL.GB.ZS (assessed 24/04/2019).
In article      
 
[23]  Ogbette, A.S., Eke, I.E. & Ori, O.E. (2017). Causes, effects and management of ASUU strikes in Nigeria, 2003-2013. Journal of Research and Development, 3 (3), 14-23.
In article      
 
[24]  Odim, O.O., Annastashia, I.A. & Solomon A. A. (2018). Effect of strikes on management and planning of educational activities in Nigerian universities. Global Journal of Educational Research, 17, 1-8.
In article      View Article
 
[25]  Akintoye, E. O. & Uhunmwuangho, S. O. (2018). Analysis of the effects of frequent strikes on academic performance of students in universities in Nigeria: Edo State as a focal point. African Research Review, 12 (1), 56-65.
In article      View Article
 
[26]  Okuwa, O.B. & Campbell, O.A. (2011). The influence of strike on the choice of higher education demand in Oyo State, Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences (JETEMS), 2 (4), 275-280.
In article      
 
[27]  Coser, L. A. (1956). The functions of social conflict. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.
In article      
 
[28]  Ohanmu, O.K. & Fayeye, J.O. (2017). Conflict management in Nigerian school system. In Olubor, R.O., Abdulkareem, A.Y., Alabi, A.T., Adeyanju, F. (eds.). Educational management: New perspectives. Nigeria: Amfitop Books.
In article      
 
[29]  Rahim, M.A. (2012). Managing conflict in organizations (6th Ed.). London: Quorum Books.
In article      
 
[30]  Creswell, J. W. (2009). Designing design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd Ed.). United States of America: Sage Publications Inc.
In article      
 
[31]  Abdulraheem, J.W. & Atunde, M.O. (2018). Human resource management practices and library personnel job performance in public university libraries in North-Central Nigeria. Journal of Educational Though, 7 (2), 90-114.
In article      
 
[32]  Kawugana, A. (2016). The impact of incessant strikes on the education sector in Nigeria. International Institute of Academic Research and Development, 2 (5), 67-72.
In article