• ASUU founded in 1978, Succeeded Nigerian Association of University Teachers, 1965
  • ASUU’s first ever industrial action was in 1988
  • Since 1999, ASUU has embarked on 17 industrial strike actions
  • ASUU strike averaged 3 months since 1999
  • Minimum ASUU strike is 1 week and maximum 9 months
  • ASUU has spent 1,622 days or 4years, 6 months on strike since 1999
  • ASUU has spent 18.44 per cent of every academic year on strike.
  • ASUU did not go on strike in 2000, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2021
  • ASUU has been embarking on strike every 1/3 years since 1999.


The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been at the forefront of the battle for better educational system in Nigeria. Since inception, the union has used its ultimate tool (industrial actions) to fight its battles.

ASUU, founded in 1978, which took over from the Nigerian Association of University Teachers formed in 1965, engaged in its first ever industrial action in 1988 and was proscribed. It resumed in 1990; got banned again in 1992; resumed in September, 1992 and has since then organized further strikes in 1994 and 1996, protesting against the dismissal of staff by the Sani Abacha military regime.

Since 1999, ASUU has embarked on strike 17 times with an average of 3 months duration. The minimum duration of which was 1 week in 2006 and 2008 to a maximum of 9 months in 2020 during the pandemic.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has spent 1,615 days or 4 years, 6 months on strike since the return to democracy in 1999. This implies that about 18.44 per cent of every academic year is spent on strike.

Interestingly, by academic calendar, these strikes have minimal effect as most universities are still in their intact sessions with very few universities bearing the brunt and lagging behind. Universities have turned to constricting academic calendar to account for lost time as a result of ASUU incessant strike actions.

The years in which ASUU did not embark on strikes include 2000, 2004, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2021. On average, in every 1/3 years, ASUU has been embarking on strike since 1999.

Let’s see the number of strike ASUU has embarked upon and the total months spent on each of these strikes.

1. 1999 ASUU Strike (Lasted 5 months)

In 1999, immediately after Olusegun Obasanjo was inaugurated as president, ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike. The strike took place from mid 1999 through late 1999. The strike lasted for five months.

2. 2001 ASUU Strike (Lasted 3 months)

After the strike that lasted for five months in 1999, ASUU embarked on another strike that lasted for three months. What was ASUU’s grievance? The union was expressing its displeasure over the sack of 49 lecturers by the University of Ilorin. The industrial action was aggravated when the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo described Nigerian university lecturers as a bunch of lazy and ungrateful people.

3. 2002 ASUU Strike (Lasted 2 weeks)

On December 29, 2002, ASUU embarked on another strike that lasted for two weeks. The strike was embarked upon because the federal government failed to implement the agreement it had with the union.

4. 2003 ASUU Strike (Lasted 6 months)

Another strike began in 2003, which left Nigerian university students idle for six months. The union said government had failed to implement previous agreements related to poor funding of universities among others.

5. 2005 ASUU Strike (Lasted 2 weeks)

ASUU embarked on another strike that lasted for two weeks in 2005. This is the second strike that lasted for 2 weeks since 1999.

6. 2006 ASUU Strike (Lasted 3 days-1 week)

 A three-day warning strike was embarked upon by ASUU in 2006. The three-day warning strike eventually became a week industrial action.

7. 2007 ASUU Strike (Lasted 3 months)

On March 26, 2007, Nigerian public universities were shut down by ASUU. This time around, the strike lasted for three months.

8. 2008 ASUU Strike (Lasted 1 week)

 The union embarked on strike in 2008 in order to compel authorities to improve salary scheme of its members. ASUU also wanted the University of Ilorin to reinstate the 49 lecturers that were dismissed in 2001. The strike lasted for one week. The lecturers were not reinstated despite court ruling in their favour.

9. 2009 ASUU Strike (Lasted 4 months)

Another strike was embarked upon by the union, and this lasted for four months. ASUU wanted the federal government to implement the agreement of previous years. ASUU and federal government entered into a new agreement in 2009, and in October of the same year, the union called off the strike. The 2009 agreement between ASUU and federal government would later become the reason for subsequent strikes by the union.

10. 2010 ASUU Strike (Lasted 5 months)

On July 22, 2010, the union embarked on another strike that lasted for over five months. ASUU called off the strike in January, 2011.

11. 2011 ASUU Strike (Lasted 2 months)

ASUU went on strike in December 2011, citing federal government’s failure to implement the 2009 agreement as reason. The strike which was called off in 2012 lasted for 59 days.

12. 2013 ASUU Strike (Lasted 5 months, 15 days)

On July 1, 2013, another industrial action was embarked upon by ASUU. The union wanted the federal government to implement the 2009 agreement by reviewing the retirement age for professors from 65 to 70 years and increase budgetary allocations to the education sector by 15 to 20% among other things. The strike, which lasted for five months and 15 days, was eventually called off on December 17, 2013.

13. 2016 ASUU Strike (Lasted 1 week)

After the 2013 ASUU strike, there was respite in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as no major ASUU strikes occurred across the country except until Wednesday, 16th November, 2016 when ASUU commenced a seven-day warning strike.


14. 2017 ASUU Strike (Lasted 1 month)

Another strike was declared by ASUU on August 17, 2017. This was because federal government failed to honour previous agreements with the union. ASUU called off the strike on 4th September, 2017.

15. 2018 ASUU Strike (Lasted 3 months)

The 2018 ASUU strike was declared on November 4th, 2018 and ended after 3 months on February 8th, 2019. The union is demanding that the federal government properly fund Nigerian universities and honour previous agreements between the duo among other things.

16. 2020 ASUU Strike (Lasted 9 months)

ASUU decided to embark on a total and indefinite strike from Monday 23rd March, 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic in Nigeria, rejecting the use of force to enroll on the FG’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS). The strike lasted through  Dec 23, 2020, a whooping 9 months duration.

17. 2022 ASUU Strike (Currently ongoing; 4 months, 2 weeks)

On February 14th, 2022, ASUU embarked on a 4 weeks warning strike. It was later extended to 8 weeks and later 12 weeks. This later turned into an indefinite strike. As at the time of this publication (June 24th, 2022), the strike was still ongoing with no headway. The 2022 strike has lasted for 4 months, 2 weeks.