Reps’ Intervention Halt ASUU Strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has agreed to put a hold on its planned industrial action.
This is coming after the House of Representatives led by the Speaker , Femi Gbajabiamila, met the union on Thursday.
The truce was reached at a reconciliation meeting held at the National Assembly Complex.
The Speaker invited the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and ASUU leadership for the meeting to avert the planned strike.
At the meeting, the timeline of various agreements reached between ASUU and the federal government since 2009 was discussed.
In his address, Gbajabiamila said, the House will not sit back and watch as things deteriorate as a result of disagreements between ASUU and the federal government.
Gbajabiamila said Nigerians cannot afford another strike action and it cannot always be used as a tool by ASUU to push for their demands.
He added that all parties must take blames for the lingering imbroglio.
He, however, said ASUU has been very patient and the government must be committed to its part of the agreements.
Also speaking, ASUU president, Prof. Victor Emmanuel, said there are so many issues and agreements which the government has reneged on.
He said the government had at various times failed to address the major issues like allowances, infrastructure, UTASS and others which he said always forced their members to embark on strike.
He said they reached an agreement with the government on the outstanding N1.3 meant for infrastructure, earned allowances and others.
According to him, it was agreed that, the money will be paid in tranches with N200 billion as the first tranche which has not been paid.
He said the amount was later scaled down to N52.127 billion with N30 billion as infrastructure fund and N22.127 billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) which neither was paid by the federal government.
On his part, the Minister of state for Education, Emeka Nwajuba, said all the claims by ASUU were true and the government is in the process of meeting with the demands, especially the EAA and the infrastructure fund.
Zainab Ahmed said there were provisions for the payments and some parts of the funds are already available and the payments will be affected in a week’s time.
After the ministers’ submissions, the ASUU leadership agreed to continue working, saying that they will monitor developments pending the expiration of their strike notice.