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Strike: Nigerian govt promises to address ASUU’s basic demand within 7days

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Strike: Nigerian govt promises to address ASUU’s basic demand within 7days

The federal government said in Abuja on Thursday that it would respond to basic demands from the University Academic Staff Union, ASUU, next week.

Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed revealed this during a tripartite meeting hosted by House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the government and the union.

It will be recalled that the ASUU issued a three-week ultimatum to the federal government to honor the agreements reached, failing which the union would go on strike.

The union had demanded the release of 30 billion naira as part of the first tranche of the University Revitalization Fund.

The union has also demanded the release of 22.12 billion naira which is to be paid to its members in the form of earned compensation.

The union also insisted on the implementation of University Transparency Accountability Solutions, UTAS, and a renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the union and the federal government.

Addressing the meeting, Ms Ahmed said the process to respond to the union’s demands has started and the money will be released before the end of next week.

She said that the effectiveness of UTAS was still being verified by the relevant agencies and would be implemented once concluded.

She also said the process for starting the renegotiations of the agreement between the federal government and ASUU had started.

Earlier, Mr. Gbajabiamila said he called the meeting so that the strike issues would be addressed once and for all.

Mr Gbajabiamila said the consequences of interrupting the education process were enormous and the unintended consequences were more deadly.

“We can’t sit here as leaders and watch it fall apart; education is very important and no amount of money is too high.

“It cannot be a lasting exercise, the strike cannot be a tool that we use all the time; it should be the last resort after all other efforts have failed.

“We have to solve this problem once and for all,” he said.

ASUU President Professor Victor Emmanuel said the union had given the government a three-week ultimatum, after which it would start the strike.

He said he would relay the information to union members and report their response to the speaker.

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