The President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, promised to extend the ongoing consultations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to end the seven-month strike.
“I will make further consultations, and I’ll get back to you,” Buhari said to the chairman and select members of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities at the State House, Abuja.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President promised to engage in further consultations with relevant stakeholders towards ending the protracted strike by university lecturers.
The statement is titled ‘ASUU Strike: President Buhari meets with pro-chancellors of varsities, promises further consultations.’
The President said without necessarily going back on what is already established policy, “I will make further consultations, and I’ll get back to you.”
The Pro-Chancellors were led to the meeting by Professor Nimi Briggs, who said they had come to meet with the President in three capacities: “As President and Commander-in-Chief, as father of the nation, and as Visitor to the Federal universities.”
Citing the recent listing of the University of Ibadan among the first 1,000 universities in the world, Briggs noted that “the future of the university system in the country is good,” despite the seven-month industrial action.
Prof Briggs commended the Federal Government for concessions already made to the striking lecturers, including the offer to raise salaries by 23.5 per cent across board, and 35 per cent for Professors.
He, however, asked for “further inching up of the salary, in view of the economic situation of the country.”
The Pro-Chancellors also asked for a reconsideration of the No-Work, No-Pay stance of government, promising that lecturers would make up for time lost as soon as an amicable situation was reached, and schools reopened.
Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, said all the concessions made by the Federal Government were to ensure that the industrial action came to an end, but ASUU has remained adamant.