Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has disclosed that Federal Government has reached an agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the on going strike embarked on since November 5, 2018.
The Minister who said this while addressing journalist in Abuja stressed that activities will resume in Universities campuses across the country without further delay.
“ Similarly, the Government team has reached agreement with ASUU. It is my hope that academic activities will also resume in Universities campuses across the country without further delay.
“I cannot end this address without commenting on the ongoing strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP). First, I wish to sincerely commend the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) for calling off their strike to allow our children in Colleges of Education to get back to classes. Government will reciprocate this gesture by fulfilling all terms of agreement reached with COEASU.
For ASUP, we have virtually resolved all issues as we await the Union to also call off their strike in the coming days. In particular, we have reached agreement in the following areas;” the Minister said.
The National President of Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi had however stated in a recent interview, that strike will be suspended only when the government has addressed the union’s proposal.
The union on the revitalisation of the universities has urged the government to release N50 billion immediately and spread the balance of N220 billion over the next three quarters of this year.
“What government proposed was to release N20 billion in two installments and we said that is not it; there are five tranches of N220 billion that are pending and our members are saying that government should at least release one tranche and as a sign of commitment to that they should release N50 billion immediately.
“The second area has to do with the payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) for which the government promised to release N20 billion and we said the N20 billion should be strictly for ASUU members. And if that money is for ASUU members, the government should tell us how to pay the balance as indicated in the report of the Government Committee on Forensic Audit.
“ The government said they will pay in four installments but the installments have no timeline; government should give a timeline and the amount that will be released at each installment.“Government should stop the payment of academic allowances from falling into arrears.
“The government promised in 2017 that they will mainstream it into the budget but that wasn’t done. We are saying that the compilation of 2019 budget is ongoing; the government should include the EAA in the budget so we won’t come back in 2020 to restart talks about arrears of EAA.
“Also, the government promised to pay salary arrears on Saturday 18th of January, 2019 and we are still waiting to see the evidence of payment,” he said.