The eight-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been put on indefinite hold.
During a leadership meeting that started on Thursday night and went into the early hours of Friday, the union made the decision to call off the strike.
The union scheduled the conference after its state chapters last week discussed the Court of Appeal verdict in order to decide its course of action.
Before hearing ASUU’s appeal of the decision directing lecturers to resume work, the Court of Appeal had ordered them to call off their strike.
The meeting at the ASUU National Secretariat in Abuja was attended by members of the union’s National Leadership Committee, which is made up of the leaders of the state chapters and the national executive.
Recall that the strike was started by ASUU on February 14, 2022.
We must ensure the ASUU strike doesn’t occur again. Gbajabiamila speaks up
All hands must be on deck, according to Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, to guarantee that academic strikes at institutions become a thing of the past.
The Speaker made the remark in a statement congratulating the Academic Staff Union of Universities for calling off its eight-month strike.
Among other things, the academics had wanted improved welfare and the revitalization of public universities.
Gbajabiamila said it is time to “admit certain painful facts and take extreme action,” while expressing gratitude to the Federal Government and the ASUU leadership for finding a solution to stop the strike.
He lamented the eight-month length of the strike and said it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
He declared, “Our public institutions should be citadels of scholarship and innovation, where youth discover themselves and aim for the stars.
“Start the important dialogue about the future of public tertiary education in the country,” Mr. Gbajabiamila urged the government, institutions of higher learning, labor organizations, and citizens.
N470 billion revitalization pledge
Along with other House members, Gbajabiamila’s assistance was crucial in ending the eight-month strike, which had reached a standstill after the Federal Government had forced ASUU into court.
The Gbajabiamila committee was successful in negotiating a ceasefire between the two groups last week after meeting with President Buhari twice.
The Federal Government has made certain accommodations, despite not being able to satisfy all of ASUU’s requests.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated in his budget presentation speech last week that the 2023 budget has a total of N470 billion set aside for revitalization and salary increases in the country’s higher institutions, answering some of the primary demands of ASUU.
But the President also pointed out that the resources needed to continue subsidizing tertiary education cannot be provided by the government alone.
The President noted that, particularly at the tertiary level, “the cost of education is jointly funded by the government and the people in most nations, Therefore, it is essential that we implement a more sustainable form of tertiary education funding.”
He continued by saying that his government was dedicated to carrying out agreements struck with staff unions within the constraints of available funds.