Nigeria’s House of Representatives have finalized negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the onward presentation of the agreement to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval and implementation.
This was disclosed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
Gbajabiamila and other principal officers of the House, who met with ASUU for hours, said: “We have been here for hours now, deliberating on issues regarding the ongoing ASUU strike. We have covered good ground.
‘’Let me just put it that way and we have made very good progress. Like I said earlier, ours is to interface directly with ASUU as an independent arm of government to find out exactly the details and how solutions can be offered. Like they say, two heads are better than.
“Now that the legislature has come in, we are very hopeful, based on our deliberations in the last five hours that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So, I thank them once again for making this time out in the interest of our students.
“There are principally seven areas where ASUU has presented what we consider to be the requisitions for them to go back to class. We have looked at those areas and we have more or less agreed on certain things.
‘’We have asked that NITDA, Accountant-General and Auditor-General, and the Wages and Salaries Commission would be invited. Unfortunately, it’s too late to invite them tomorrow because the letters can only go out tomorrow.
‘’They will be invited to meet with the leadership on Thursday so that we can dot the ‘i” and cross the ‘t”. Once that is done, the leadership of this House will await the return of Mr. President from the ongoing UN General Assembly and we will meet Mr. President and lay before him the agreement made by this arm of government.
‘’We are hopeful and believe that Mr. President will buy into the agreement and with that, I believe this matter will be speedily brought to a close. In the meantime, between and when Mr. President comes, ASUU itself will go back to its members with the resolutions we have reached today to get their buy-in.
‘’ I don’t believe there is an issue or a problem from what we discussed.”
On his part, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said: “ I also want to thank the speaker and members of the House for this intervention.
‘’I think it’s a good development and we are waiting for what they will send to us that can make our members wait. I believe that in the near future, this issue will be resolved.”
ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.
ASUU on May 9, further extended its ongoing strike by another 12 weeks to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues after an extension on March 14 due to an alleged lack of seriousness on the part of the federal government.
The Federal Government’s Briggs renegotiation committee, had since April 2022, been meeting with ASUU and other labour unions in the universities, who are all currently on strike due to its dispute with the government and non-resolution of demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the federal government.