President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to proffer a solution to the prolonged industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other university-based unions and report back to him in 2 weeks time.
The president’s order is coming barely a week after he told the striking university lecturers that ‘enough is enough’ because they need to think about the future of the students and should as a matter of responsibility reconsider their position on the prolonged strike with a view to calling it off.
President Buhari gave the directive on Tuesday during a meeting with relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), where he received briefings on the current face-off with the university unions since February 14, among other issues.
The other university unions that are currently on strike are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
It was reported that President Buhari summoned the meeting so he can be briefed by the federal government team on why the strike has lingered for too long, adding that he made the resolution of the lingering ASUU strike a top priority.
It was also gathered that the president instructed that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, that they must be in attendance in all the meetings to speedily resolve the crisis as well as interface with the striking unions.
Those at the meeting include Adamu, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy; Isa Pantami, the Head of Service of the Federation; Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Chairman of National Salaries Income and Wages Commission; Ekpo Nta; and the Director-General Budget Office; Ben Akabueze.
What you should know
ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.
ASUU on May 9, further extended its ongoing strike by another 12 weeks to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues after an extension on March 14 due to an alleged lack of seriousness on the part of the federal government.
The Federal Government’s Briggs renegotiation committee, had since April 2022, been meeting with ASUU and other labour unions in the universities, who are all currently on strike due to its dispute with the government and non-resolution of demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the federal government.
The NLC had a few days ago announced plans to commence a 2-day nationwide protest on Tuesday, July 26, in solidarity with the ongoing strike action by the lecturers union.
Aviation workers had also, in solidarity with ASUU threatened to shut down the airports if the ongoing industrial dispute is not resolved