The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will announce a deal reached with the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday.
Mr Gbajabiamila disclosed this on Monday after a closed-door meeting between the leadership of the union and the lawmakers at the National Assembly complex.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Mr Gbajabiamila said Mr Buhari has agreed to some demands of the lecturers after two meetings he (president) had with the House leadership.
“That meeting was even better than the first one we had with him, and Mr President had agreed to settle things. I am not going to talk about that now, and that he would disclose whatever it is tomorrow, Tuesday which is tomorrow.“
The President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, in his speech, said the leadership of the union is expected to get a deal from the federal government and present it to its members.
He said the deal should be ready in 48 hours.
He stated that the ASUU leadership cannot make any announcement on any deal without the consent of the members.
“We met briefly in the speaker’s office. We have taken note of what they have covered. As you know, in my union, we operate bottom-up, we don’t take decisions on their behalf without taking their consent.
“We have agreed that between now and tomorrow, we are going to get some documentation—signed— that we can take to our members. We will do that as soon as possible for the interest of Nigerians,” he said.
Mr Osodeke however condemned the federal government for allowing the industrial action to linger for over eight months.
Recall that lecturers of public universities in Nigeria embarked on strike on 14 February, over the federal government’s refusal to implement the 2009 agreement on matters bordering on increased funding of universities and increasing lecturers’ salaries.
Following its inability to resolve the dispute with ASUU through negotiations, the federal government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, referred the matter to the industrial court for resolution.
The government asked the court to determine the legality or otherwise of the strike.
The government also asked the court to determine whether ASUU members are entitled to emoluments for the period they have been on strike.
The Nigerian government wanted the court to adjudicate on the propriety or otherwise of the strike.
The court, in its judgement, directed the union to return to work. The judgement was confirmed by the Court of Appeal.
In a bid to break ASUU, the government, a few days ago, formally registered two new university unions, the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).
President Muhammadu Buhari also announced during budget presentation on Friday, that his government will not sign any agreement with the union unless it is sure of being able to implement such.
Mr Buhari also announced that N470 billion has been allocated for salary enhancement for tertiary institutions and the revitalisation of the schools.
(Courtesy: Premium Times)