The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Thursday, gave an indication that the union will suspend its prolonged strike very soon, as its President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, declared that the varsity lecturers are ready to go back to school as The Federal Government has also agreed to release N30 billion earned academic allowance to the university lecturers.
The money will be paid in tranches between May 2021 and February 2022.
AUTHENTIC learnt gathered that the FG also promised to spend N20 billion on the revitalisation of the education sector as part of concessions meant to end the seven-month strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
These were part of the agreements reached during the ongoing meeting between the FG and ASUU leadership on Thursday.
The ASUU President gave the hint even as the Federal Government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, assured it would meet the union demands within time frame it stipulated.
Prof Ogunyemi, who was speaking at a meeting between the Federal Government, led by the Labour Minister and ASUU leadership, led by the President, said their members are willing to resume because it is a matter of national interest.
He points out that their members also have their children at home, like all other parents who have their children at home due to the prolonged strike.
The ASUU president said: “Our members are ready and willing to go to class because it is a matter of national interest. Just like every other person’s child is at home, our member’s children are also at home.”
Prof Ogunyemi commended the Senate President and the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Accountant General of the Federation, among others for making it possible for them to discuss on the issues.
He pointed out that though, ASUU delegation came with an open mind to the meeting, its members out there expect much from the meeting.
Speaking earlier before going into a closed-door session, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said students were being recruited into the #EndSARS protests following the closure of universities occasioned by the ASUU strike.
He expressed the hope that ASUU would call off the strike soon, noting that the government has been finding ways to end the seven-month strike.
The government team was led by Ngige, his minister of state, Festus Keyamo (SAN), and others, while the ASUU delegation was led by its President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi.
Ngige said, “For the past one week, we have all been on our toes, we have been meeting and we pray that this meeting will yield some good fruits.
“We don’t take very great pleasure in the fact that the children who are supposed to be in school are being recruited into the #EndSARS, #EndStrike, #EndSWAT and all kinds of situations.
“As much as possible, we will try to see how we can meet ourselves halfway so that we can resolve this crisis to the benefits of all and the country at large.”
Ogunyemi said there was a need for everyone to look at the issues affecting the university system as a national emergency in the country.
He commended the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Ngige, and Accountant-General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed, among others, for facilitating the discussion.