President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to end the lingering strike.
Buhari urged ASUU to consider the plight of the students and called off the industrial action.
The President made the appeal at the 19th National Productivity Day Celebration and Conferment of National Productivity Order of Merit Award, held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
He also urged the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, to exercise patience as the government tries to resolve the crisis.
Buhari recalled his February 1 directive to His Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, the Ministers of Education and Labour and Employment, Adamu Adamu and Chris Ngige, respectively, to address the concerns of the striking aggrieved workers’ unions.
The president said he had, on February 1, directed Ibrahim Gambari, his chief of staff; Adamu Adamu, minister of education; and Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, to work together to address the concerns of the union.
But in a statement issued on Monday, ASUU extended the industrial action by another 12 weeks. The decision was reached after a meeting of the union’s national executive council (NEC) on Sunday at its University of Abuja secretariat.
The union had said since the president issued the directive, no meeting had been held by the concerned officials to resolve the crisis.
“NEC was shocked that public universities have remained closed for about three months while members of the political class were busy purchasing expression of interest and nomination forms worth several millions of Naira in preparations for 2023 elections,” the union had said.
“Those in power turned their back on our degraded universities as they shuttle between Europe and America to celebrate the graduation of their children and wards from world class universities. This speaks volumes on the level of depravity, insensitivity, and irresponsibility of Nigeria’s opportunistic and parasitic political class.”
The union had described the federal government’s attitude towards the strike action as “cavalier” and “counter-productive”.
ASUU on Monday extended its ongoing roll-over strike by another three months.
The body is demanding funding for the revitalisation of public universities, the Earned Academic Allowances, the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and promotion arrears.
Others include the renegotiation and implementation of the 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement and the inconsistency in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.