The Federal Government, yesterday, gave assurances that the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), would be called off before tomorrow (Monday).
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, who made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, disclosed that almost all the issues of contention between the Federal Government and ASUU have been cleared off the table, to allow students return to school.
“The strike will be called off today or tomorrow but certainly there will be no strike next week. We have virtually resolved contentious issues with the Academic Staff Union of Universities. It is my hope that ASUU will also come up with a pronouncement that will gladden the hearts of our students, parents and indeed all Nigerians after our meeting today in the coming hours,” he said.
Meanwhile, ASUU has declined comment on the day the ongoing strike would be called off as noted by the education minister. The union insists that based on the meeting held at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, on February 1, 2019, the the decision on whether or not to call off the strike based on what government has offered the union will be determined after due consultation with its members.
Speaking to our correspondent, ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who agreed that government has made some positive moves, however, noted that the status of the strike can only be determined after Thursday, when the meeting with the Federal Government has been scheduled to reconvene.
“What the minister has done is a wish and that wish we cannot challenge him on that. We had a meeting yesterday (Friday), at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment. Government has given us what it could give and we are taking that to our members for final consultations. We will bring them the report when we reconvene on Thursday
“As far as I know, until we get the feedback from our members, we cannot pronounce on the status of the strike,” he said.
Since ASUU downed tools on 4th November 2018, both the lecturers and the Federal Government have met nine times to resolve the issues on the table but each time, the meeting had ended in stalemate.
The lecturers are demanding an improved funding for universities and implementation of previous agreements entered with government.