The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said he has been in a dark period of personal anguish and internal turmoil as a result of the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister stated this on Tuesday during a meeting with Vice Chancellors and Pro-Chancellors of federal universities at the National Universities Commission (NUC) headquarters in Abuja.
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Adamu also said the federal government has done all it could do with regard to the ASUU strike, noting that the meeting was to share the details of what government has done and what remains to be done.
He stated that the main challenge in fulfilling ASUU’s demands has been the dwindling resources available to address all the concerns of the citizenry.
“For me, this is a position I would have wanted us to reach after an amicable resolution of all the issues contained in the 2009 Agreements. It appears that we are running ahead of the negotiations but not for the right reasons. The President of ASUU has been reported to have said the Union would no longer negotiate with the current Federal Government.
“This position must be resisted. Government and ASUU have no option than to continue talking until our universities have reopened their doors to students, who clearly are the principal victims of the seemingly unending strikes. In the circumstances, therefore, all Councils and Senates of our universities are enjoined to rise up to their responsibilities.
“We must, together, continue to work to restore our public universities to where they were in the 60s and 70s. As the most important officers in our university system, Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors, must demonstrate more commitment to ending the ongoing strike.
“As chairmen of Councils and Senates – the highest policy and academic bodies in the system – you must consider it your paramount duty to promote policies and actions that will discourage industrial disputes in our campuses. Government will continue to support the physical and academic development of its universities.
“Government will continue to reasonably enhance the working conditions of all university staff, academic and non-teaching. The main challenge, as you are fully aware, is dwindling resources available to address all the concerns of the citizenry. We thank you for your support, understanding and sacrifices.”
Arabella reports that ASUU had embarked on a strike since on Monday, February 14, 2022 following what the union tagged as failure of the federal government to meet its demands.