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FG promises reopening of varsities as NASU issues strike notice

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Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, yesterday, said the universities would soon reopen for academic activities after almost one year of strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), The Guardian reports.

He made the disclosure at the reconstitution of the Federal Government team for renegotiation of the 2009 agreements with the varsity teachers. Adamu noted that significant progress had been recorded in discussions with the union, adding that the current administration was finding lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the education sector.

The minister said government was disturbed by the recurring industrial actions in the university system. “As you are quite aware, the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders, in the past months, have been neck-deep in several meetings with leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and others, to resolve the outstanding issues that led to the current industrial action in public universities.

 

“I can report that significant progress has, so far, been recorded. And there is an opportunity that our public universities, like their private counterparts, will soon reopen for academic activities,” he added.

Adamu revealed that the government team would take another look at the 2009 agreements and work with individual union towards making far-reaching recommendations for the repositioning of the Nigerian university system.

Categorised into substantive members, advisers and observers, the team is led by Emeritus Professor Munzali Jibril.

The minister charged the squad to “propose and prescribe short, medium and long-term measures for the sustainable funding and management of federal universities in order to restore lasting peace, stability, harmony and progress in the Nigerian university system” among others.

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) is to proceed on an indefinite strike in research institutes nationwide if its demands are not met within 14 days.

Its National President, Dr. Makolo Hassan, gave the notice at the opening of the body’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja.

Specifically, he lamented that for 10 years, the Federal Government was yet to honour the content of the pact it freely entered into with the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU) as contained in the 2010 JORAISU/FGN Agreement.

While appreciating President Muhammadu Buhari for granting some incentives to teachers, NASU insisted that the same gesture should be extended to the non-teaching staff that compliment teachers.

The union also lamented high taxation in spite of the economic challenges foisted on workers by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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