There is high hope that Nigerian students in public varsities will return to class soon as the federal government promised to resume negotiation talks with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu disclosed this while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Politics Today, on Wednesday, September 6, 2022.Recall, that since February 14, 2022, there have been no academic activities in public universities in the country due to the ongoing ASUU strike.The union is demanding the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).The government had claimed to have addressed most of the union’s demands including the release of N50b for the payment of earned allowances for academic and non-academic and non-academic staff of universities but said the that the union will not be paid the arrears of the strike period.
The union has also insisted on not calling off the lingering strike until the arrears are settled.However, in the latest development, the government has promised to see an end to the lingering strike and will soon be having a discussion again with the leader of the union.
Speaking on the government’s effort to end the strike, Adamu said the Federal Government has made an offer to the varsity teachers.“The agreement we reached or the position that I offered of government that I offered to is something government can pay if they say they will agree,” the education minister further noted.According to him, the government has proposed a one-time package for the striking lecturers, explaining that it won’t be paid in installments.
He, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari is sad about the protracted strike of over 200 days, promising to ensure that the dispute is resolved.“Fellow Nigerians, I sit here promising you I will do the best I can to see that the ASUU strike is called off, and even without making this pledge to you, my intention is to immediately after this interview, I am going to meet the president of ASUU and it is not going to be a social visit. It is just in continuation of what we have been doing before,” he said.“
I am telling you, I do not have the words to tell the nation the weight I feel of this strike on my shoulders and I will do the best I can to end it.”