Signs that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will call off its over three-month-old industrial action came in the evening of Thursday, February 7, with the report that the association has reached an agreement with the federal government.
The agreement was signed by the leadership of ASUU and federal government after a series of meetings.
Striking Nigerian university lecturers have accepted the proposal of the federal government but asked to be given until Thursday evening for words on ending their strike.
Biodun Ogunyemi, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) stated this on Thursday evening after a three-hour meeting with a government delegation.
“Our members are waiting for us currently at the and you will hear from us before the end of the day. We have signed a document on behalf of our members,” Mr Ogunyemi said.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the government had resolved the eight contentious issues with ASUU. He said some of the issues have already been implemented.
ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4, 2018, demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.
As at the time of this report, neither ASUU nor the federal government had provided details of the agreement signed.
However, Mr Ogunyemi had in November said to suspend the strike, the government must fully implement “the Memorandum of Action (MoA) the two parties willingly signed in October 2017,” he said.
“So the MoA must be implemented fully before we can even talk of suspension of the strike. If they implement the outstanding issues in the MoA fully and change the leadership of the negotiating team, then we can go back to the negotiation,” Mr Ogunyemi said.
According to Mr Ogunyemi, the union’s position is aimed at repositioning the nation’s universities for global relevance.
“As they (schools) currently stand, they can neither attract competent foreign lecturers or foreign students who could add to their global rating.
He also said ASUU was not happy going on strike but had no choice.
“Unfortunately, that is the language the government understands. Each time ASUU goes on strike, our work is disrupted. But what work are we doing under unfavourable conditions?” Mr Ogunyemi said