THE Federal Government on Monday held series of meetings as part of the last ditch effort to end the over five months old strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff of University Union (ASUU). While the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, held a meeting with the vice-chancellors of universities at NUC, Abuja, another high level meeting of government officials was also held at a different location.
Rasheed, speaking during 2022 retreat for vice-chancellors of Nigerian universities and directors of inter-university centres, urged some of the vice-chancellors to go with him for another meeting on ways to resolve the ongoing ASUU strike.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the leadership of ASUU would be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari today.
The NUC boss, who lamented that the over five month strike embarked upon by ASUU has had adverse implication on the future of university education and students in Nigeria, sympathised with the vice-chancellors on the trauma the situation has put them through.
He particularly called on the VCs to support the effort of the Federal Government to resolve the campus-based union strike actions.
According to him, the retreat was aimed at identifying lasting stability in tertiary institutions, finding ways of ending the ongoing strike and to delibrate how the universities spend their resources now that they are closed, among others.
He said it was unfortunate that the retreat was coming at time when the university system had been in crisis following the prolonged strike by ASUU and other staff unions, saying the retreat would enable the vice chancellors and others brainstorm on how to move the universities forward.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had declared a two-day nationwide protest following the continued closure of the public universities. The nationwide protest, according to the NLC, is scheduled to hold on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
This came as it faulted the Federal Government’s purported rejection of the Nimi Briggs Committee on the premise of alleged disparity between the pay rise allocated to academic and non-academic staff of universities.
NLC in a circular to its state councils and affiliates dated July 15, 2022 and signed by its president and general secretary, Ayuba Wabba and Emma Ugboaja respectively, said the protest is to take place in all the state capitals and Abuja, starting from NLC secretariats.