ASUU suspends strike, directs lecturers to resume today

The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, has officially suspended its one month, six days strike.

ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi made the announcement in Abuja, late Monday, night shortly after a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

Ogunyemi said universities are expected to resume on the 19th of September after the union members must have met at their branch level.

Federal Government was forced to bow to ASUU’s terms which culminated in the suspension of the strike, after stakeholders in the sector had a stormy meeting to reappraisal all the demands made by ASUU.

One of the major concession from government was to honour the 2009 agreement government had with ASUU, by releasing the sum of N220 billion not later than October 2017.

The ASUU President admitted that the proposals made by government were concrete for the time being.

“We have had useful deliberations and we had some concrete proposals that we will take back to our members as part of our consultations. And like the Honourable Minister of Labour has said, we plan to come back here to take decisions as advised by our members, “Ogunyemi said.

Ngige said beyond the pledge to release the sum of N220 billion not later than October 2017 to fund the revitalization of federal universities across the country, government had began paying the earned allowances of ASUU members.

He noted that the present administration had been holding meetings with ASUU on how to address the non-release of funds which ought to have commenced in 2014 under the immediate past administration.

Another condition for suspending the strike was the pledge by government to set up the National Universities Pension Commission.

“We also discussed the issue of university staff schools and treasury single account with a view to finding how the system could accommodate funds for research grants that need to be independent from the government.

“We also discussed the issue of how the Federal Government could be involved in the running of state universities”, Ngige said.

He had promised that a seven-man committee would be set up to work towards implementation of the proposals that had been endorsed by all parties.

According to him, most of ASUU’s demands that were discussed during the meeting emanated from the 2009 agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding the university teachers had with the federal government, saying it was important that solutions were found to these pending problems.

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