- There are strong indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will soon call off its strike
- This is as Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, gave an update on his intervention in the crisis
- Meeting with the leadership of ASUU on Monday evening, the Speaker said the strike will be over in few days
Gbajabiamila stated this in a meeting with the president of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke and the union's leadership on Monday evening, October 10.
"In few days, we will put this Strike to an end, he was quoted as saying.
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ASUU strike: Buhari to speak on “No Work No Pay” issue
He said that the other issues had been taken care of with the federal government and ASUU shifting grounds on their positions.
“This is a recap to seal the deal on what has been a long fought, long hard road for everybody both for ASUU, the students and the government. As you would recall, some weeks ago the House got involved in this crisis and we had long, tough, intense meetings with ASUU.
“We had meetings with those on the government side and we are happy to report that as the result of the consultation and intervention of the House, very significant progress has been made and we are more or less at the of the road. Save for dotting some “I”s and crossing some “T”s.
“We agreed with ASUU and the government on certain things which we took to Mr President. I have visited the president twice. First time we made our recommendations with the government shifting some and ASUU shifting some. We spoke with Mr President. There was one sticking issue which was the issue of no work no pay. And the President did ask that he would suggest the recommendations and would have one more meeting which we did on Friday after the budget."
Gbajabiamila noted that President Buhari has "agreed to settle things", adding that the president will make his decision on Tuesday.
“But beyond that, the other several issues have been taken care of. We were able to make sure that what ASUU was asking for in terms of revitalization, salary, that there has been significant improvement, revitalization has been provided for in the budget. We made sure of that.
The salary structure has been looked at and there has been improvement as well, and we made sure of that. As you heard Mr President say during his budget presentation. He appealed to ASUU to go back to class and that N470 billion total has been included in the budget.
“The issue of UTAS which was another important issue both ASUU and the office of the Accountant General and the government have agreed that they will work together and the peculiarities of UTAS that are required for the payment platform IPPIS, they would sit down together, and the chairman Committee on Tertiary Education would also be part of that tripartite sit-down arrangement to include all those things that are required by ASUU in the IPPIS platform.
“I believe we have covered grounds, covered most of the thorny issues and it is basically, what we have agreed with ASUU is basically to put everything on paper and sign off and I believe if we had met yesterday and the papers had been drawn up, ASUU, I am sure would have called off the strike today. But we only just met behind closed doors now, and so we have to draw up the agreement as I have stated to you, and hopefully in the next couple of days, of course, ASUU has to get back to its bases as well, once that is agreed, I am very hopeful and very excited about the possibility or probability the strike would be called of in a manner of days.
“I want to thank the union for having come this far and having reported at every moment that we have called them. Even today’s meeting was called just today and at such short notice, you were here and we have met in my office and I believe we have concluded positively. We did this for the sake of our students and children and I hope it would be a thing of the past. I thank you very much, ASUU. I also thank Nigerians for their patience, and the students, having endured these many months. But I believe that this has hopefully come to an end in a matter of days," Gbajabiamila said.
ASUU president commends Gbajabiamila
Speaking at the meeting, Osodeke commended the House of Representatives for intervening in the protracted crisis between university lecturers and the federal government.
He said if the House had intervened in the manner it had over the matter at the beginning of the problem, the strike would have been over in a matter of days.
“For the first time, we have seen light at the end of the tunnel," the ASUU leader said.
ASUU strike: Appeal Court orders union to call off strike
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its strike immediately.
The appellate presided over by Justice Hamma Barka gave the verdict on Friday, October 7.
The court said ASUU should obey the order of an industrial court, which directed the suspension of the strike before seeking to appeal the judgment.