The federal government has revealed when the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is expected to be called off.
According to Adamu Adamu, the minister of education, while speaking on Thursday at a meeting with the senate committee on tertiary education and TETFUND in Abuja, the strike may be called off “within the next one week”.
The minister further hoped that with the level of progress made in the negotiation between ASUU and the federal government, students and lecturers would soon be returning to classes.
His words: “The issue of renegotiation is already going on. I have already written a letter formalising the meeting I had with the union, because I went alone to face them and I wrote a letter which I gave them yesterday.”
“From the way they received it, I think it is possible that the strike will be called off within a week, maximum.”
“The union had asked for N23 billion to be paid. But we said the condition for that N23 billion to be released was for them to account for the N30 billion they had taken, which is a total of N53 billion. And they were not able to account for it.”
“The minister of finance then undertook to do the audit from the ministry and we agreed that the result will be known within six months.
“The federal government undertook to be paying them N1.5 billion each month during the time they are waiting for the outcome of the audit.
“Their grouse now is that the forensic audit promised by the minister of finance has not been done and the money promised has not been paid.
“So, at our meeting two days ago, we agreed that we will pay them and do forensic audit on the entire N53 billion.
“I wrote to the minister and she has already approved it and this money will be paid; probably on Monday, they will be able to receive the cheque.’’
ASUU, an umbrella body of all university lecturers in the country, is currently on strike over the federal government’s failure to fulfil its 2009/2013 agreement with the union.