Nigeria: ASUU Strike Will Soon Be Called Off, Says Ngige

Chris Ngige, minister of labour, says the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will soon be called off.

Ngige said this is based on the federal government's consideration of some demands of the union.

He said the federal government was optimistic that the strike would soon be called off to pave way for students to resume academic activities, adding that talks with the union have so far been productive and fruitful.

"There are areas that are still outstanding which we are going to address on the 17th. We have the issue of shortfall of salaries, that of some federal university workers. ASUU has given a list to the office of the accountant-general," he said.

"We agreed that by Wednesday that the list will be checked to find out really whether those universities were actually paid and they have to be visited and paid the outstanding lecturers there. So, the accountant general's office is to come back to us.

"We have also the issue of earned academic allowance and the issue of revitalisation. These are issues of 2009 agreement. We will look into the consideration and we have identified one area of the fund for revitalisation.

"The federal government organs will be contacted and we do expect that we will have some words for ASUU. Same goes for the earned allowances. We will make sure that the issue of the outstanding amounts is handled in a way that all parties will be properly accommodated."

Ngige said during the meetings with the union, the quality of graduates from state-owned universities was brought to focus with a view to upgrading the standard of education to meet global standards.

He said the federal government through the ministry of education will engage with the Nigeria Governors' Forum to chart a way forward.

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