by Dare Lawal
Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday directed the two Federal Government committees negotiating the with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to take immediate action towards ending the on-going strike.
For about two months, university undergraduates in public schools across the country have been on strike due to the failure of ASUU and the FG to come to an agreement over issues which have been pending since 2009.
The Chairman of the Universities Needs Implementation Committee, Gov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue, however disclosed on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting of the two committees and other stakeholders with President Jonathan at the State House.in Abuja. The other committee is the Earned Allowance Committee headed by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
Apart from the president, Sambo and Suswam, others present at the meeting include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyat Rufai, Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okogie and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome.
Addressing State House correspondents, Suswam said that the meeting was summoned by the President “to take some decisions that would end the strike’’.
“The President has instructed us, as to what to do, and he has shown a lot of commitments to flagging off projects worth about N100 billion in all the universities in the country, about 61 of them.
“So, we are hoping that we will be able to see the end of the strike very soon.
“At the end of the day, we hope ASUU is satisfied with the measures that have so far been taken.
“The federal government will also be meeting with the Universities Councils and Vice Chancellors of our universities within the week towards updating them on some of the decisions taken,’’ he said.
Suswam said about N100 billion had been approved by the Federal Government to his committee to address infrastructure deficit in all the Universities.