PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed the ministers of education, Adamu Adamu, and labour and employment, Chris Ngige, to resolve the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and report back to him within two weeks.
Multiple sources said Buhari gave the order at a meeting with some top government officials at the State House on Monday.
The president’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, posted the pictures from the meeting on his Facebook page, but he did not provide details of what the President discussed with the ministers.
Apart from Adamu and Ngige, other ministers at the meeting include Zainab Ahmed, Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Isa Pantami, Communications and Digital Economy.
Other government officials at the meeting are the Head of Service of the Federation Folashade Yemi-Esan, Chairman of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission Ekpo Nta and the Director-General of the Budget Office Ben Akabueze.
ASUU embarked on strike on February 14 over unmet demands by the Federal Government.
Efforts by the government and other stakeholders to resolve the impasse have failed.
ASUU’s strike has led to the suspension of all academic activities in almost all public universities in Nigeria.
Apart from ASUU, three other unions have embarked on strike in the universities over unmet demands by the government, which has further crippled activities at the affected institutions.
The unions are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
On Tuesday, impeccable sources said Buhari directed Ngige and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, to be present at all government meetings with ASUU.
The ICIR reported earlier on Tuesday how ASUU urged all Nigerians to be part of the planned solidarity protests by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and other workers’ unions in the country aimed at compelling the government to accede to the lecturers’ demands.
The ICIR newspaper had on July 11 reported how Buhari slammed ASUU over the strike and ordered the union back to work.
But the union defied the order and demanded that the government do the needful.
The ICIR reports that Buhari’s latest directive aims to end the 156-day-old strike by appeasing workers mobilising for nationwide protests.
The NLC has scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26 and 27, respectively, for the protests.
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