Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), says the ongoing strike would be suspended when the federal government addresses the union’s “minimalist proposal.”
Naija News reports that ASUU commenced its strike on November 4, 2018, after a meeting of its national leadership at the Federal University of Technology, Akure in Ondo, southwest Nigeria.
The lecturers are protesting poor funding of Nigerian universities, non-implementation of previous agreements, among other issues.
Giving an update on the strike, Ogunyemi, who was quoted by Daily Trust, insisted that the union would not suspend the strike until all offers made to it after their last meeting with the Federal Government had been fully implemented.
His words: “The strike will end when government addresses our minimalist proposal send to it. We have reduced what we proposed drastically, what we propose now is a far cry from where we started,” Daily Trust quoted him as saying.
“So, government must address this proposal that we have before it in order to pave way for the suspension of the strike action. Unless it does so, we cannot go back to our members to prevail on them to consider other positions than where we are.”
Meanwhile, Naija News reports that Ogunyemi’s statement is coming after the federal government said it had released N163 billion to public universities from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in a bid to end the strike.
Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, made this known while addressing journalists after a closed-door reconciliatory meeting with the leadership of the union on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The minister said: “Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities. So, we have gotten some substantial agreement in most of the areas of the agreement.
“Most of the issues are being resolved, so they are going to go back to their members and present government’s offer to their council.”