House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila said yesterday night that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, or ASUU, will terminate its seven-month strike, which has placed the bastion of learning under lock and key.
After leaving a meeting with the ASUU leadership that was held at the lawmakers’ request and presided over by its President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the speaker declared that an agreement had been achieved.
You may recall that the Gbajabiamila-led House leadership had four meetings with the academic body in the preceding four weeks in an effort to find a solution to the complex, enduring issues with the government.
The Speaker met with President Muhammadu Buhari last week to present the findings of the meeting with ASUU while leading a team of lawmakers to the Presidential Villa.
On Tuesday, October 11, Gbajabiamila predicted that President Muhammadu Buhari would make a statement about the contentious “No Work, No Pay” problem.
In order to better serve the interests of all students and the nation as a whole, he claimed that both the government and ASUU had decided to change their respective viewpoints.
A closed-door meeting was observed during the meeting.
This is a time to put an end to what has been a long, hard road for everyone, including ASUU, the students, and the government, he said. As you may remember, the House became involved in this problem a few weeks ago, and we had lengthy, difficult, and intense talks with ASUU. We met with representatives of the administration, and we are pleased to announce that thanks to their input and the House’s participation, tremendous progress has been made, and we are essentially at the end of the journey. except for crossing some “Ts” and dotting some “Is.”
“We brought up several issues that we had agreements on with ASUU and the government to Mr. President. I twice went to see the president. When we initially presented our recommendations, both the government and ASUU had made certain changes. We talked to the president. The concept of “no work, no money” was one of the major issues. The President also requested that he make the suggestions and call another meeting, which we did on Friday following the budget.
“That meeting was much more productive than our first with him, and the President pledged to resolve the issue. I won’t discuss it now; he will reveal whatever it is on Tuesday, which is the following day. In relation to the last matter.
But other from that, all of the other problems have been resolved. We were able to ensure that the revitalization and pay requests made by ASUU had been significantly improved, and that funding for revitalization had been included in the budget. That was secured by us. We made sure that the salary structure was examined and adjusted as well. Similarly to what the president said when he presented his budget. He urged the ASUU to resume classes and mentioned that the budget included a total of N470 billion.
The chairman of the Committee on Tertiary Education would also be a part of that tripartite sit-down arrangement to include all of those things that ASUU requires in the IPPIS platform. “The issue of UTAS, which was another important issue, both ASUU and the office of the Accountant General and the government have agreed that they will work together and the peculiarities of UTAS that are required for the payment platform IPPIS.
“I think we’ve covered most of the difficult topics, and what we’ve agreed to with ASUU is essentially to put everything on paper and sign off. If we had met yesterday and the papers had been drafted, I think ASUU would have called off the strike today. However, we have only recently met behind closed doors, so we must draft the agreement as I have already stated. Once that is agreed, I am very hopeful and excited about the possibility or probability that the strike would be called off within a few days. Of course, ASUU must return to its bases as well.
“I want to express my gratitude to the union for making it this far and for reporting each time we have phoned. Even though the meeting was only scheduled for today and with so little notice, you were present, we met in my office, and I think we came to a successful conclusion. We did this out of concern for our pupils and young children, and I hope it will soon be history. I sincerely appreciate it, ASUU. I also want to thank Nigerians for their endurance throughout these long months, as well as the pupils. But I think this will hopefully be over in the next few days.
ASUU President Professor Emma Osodeke stated that the organization’s members will sign a number of documents between now and tomorrow to complete the agreements.
“Light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
We had a quick meeting in the Speaker’s office and discussed all the issues, he added. He gave us a briefing. We have noted what they have talked about. You are aware that my union runs on a bottom-up system. Without their permission, we never make choices on their behalf. We have decided that we will get some paperwork signed between now and tomorrow so that we may give them to our members. In order to get this issue handled as soon as possible for all of us, Nigerians and students, we will do it as soon as feasible.
“Based on what we have observed today, for the first time since the beginning of our action, we can picture a brighter future. This is the first time we have experienced such a thing. This time, hopefully, no one or no organization will make an effort to develop something that will also cause us to run into anything. In the best interests of our kids, we certainly hope this is the last.
We are fighting for Nigeria’s educational system, and we are grateful that the National Assembly is supporting us. We want to establish a university in Nigeria where students from all over the world can pay in hard cash just like they do (abroad), allowing our system to expand. We are fighting for this reason. Just as our people are leaving, we want to establish a university where the pay is sufficient to draw teachers from all over the world.
“We are having issues right now, but we are not aware of them. Even though we are building a lot of universities, none of them have qualified faculty members since the best ones are departing. It’s not enough that we simply sent people there. The environment must be made. We must behave like the Giant of Africa because we are that. Instead of people leaving, we should be welcoming a flood of newcomers. Due to this, we are present.
“I genuinely appreciate your perseverance and your intervention. Please let’s work together to finish this magnificent project we’ve started so that every Nigerian may be proud that we have world-class universities. We apologise. Additionally, we thank the President for speaking up. We sincerely hope that this will be the last.
“I want to make a case against allowing strikes to continue in the future. Strikes shouldn’t last longer than two days. We would not be in the position we are in today if the National Assembly had not stepped in, if we had done it long ago, from the beginning, to be allowed to do that all along, or if those in charge of Labor and Education had not done exactly this. We wouldn’t have remained in this strike for more than two or three weeks, according to Osodeke.