Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu recently revealed this to the press, and Nigerians have been reacting.
According to him, he has given all the six unions the offer made by the government, and they all accepted it in principle, except ASUU that gave him two other conditions that would not be acceptable to the government.
Adamu added that he is doing everything humanly possible to conclude the negotiations with ASUU so that the students can return to school.
His words, “The President never gave me any deadline. I promised that I could do it within the shortest possible time. And for your information, one week after that pledge, I had already finished my job because I had given all the six unions the offer made by the government, and I want to tell you, in principle, all of them accepted it. The only exception was ASUU that gave me two other conditions, which I told them would not be acceptable to the government.”
“Let me seize the opportunity to commend ASUP (Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics). ASUP were on strike. But at the time I was given this (negotiation) responsibility, they were threatening to go back. So, I called ASUP and I made them withdraw the threat and they agreed.”
“The next I met were the College of Education Academic Staff Union, they are on strike already. I gave them the offer and this is a final offer. And they accepted it. But you know the mechanism of acceptance, they will not just tell me, okay, the strike is called off. They have to go and tell their unions. And that is what is happening with NASU. I met NASU and SSANU. And they have accepted but they need time to go and tell the unions. The last group I met was NAAT.”
“So, I can tell you within the next one week, these five unions will call off the strike. But I cannot say the same for ASUU because what they’re asking is, they can accept this offer if the federal government will agree to pay the salary for the month they have not worked. And I told them the federal government will not. All contentious issues between the government and ASUU had been settled except the quest for members’ salaries for the period of strike be paid, a demand that Buhari has flatly rejected.”
“Who do you assume will compensate the students? The federal government? No. Probably you should take the leaders of striking unions to court to pay them. Yes. Probably the court will award damages and then we’ll see how they pay.”
“Unions in Tertiary Institutions in the country, especially the Academic Staff Union of Universities have been engaged in recurring and avoidable strikes that have crippled the university system.”
“This is in spite of the huge investments of over N2.5tn in tertiary institutions in the last ten years from TETFUND alone. Just recently, we inaugurated a committee to renegotiate the 2009 agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities and related unions in tertiary institutions.”
“We are doing everything humanly possible to conclude the negotiations. I am sure that the current efforts would yield the desired results and return our children back to school.”
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