By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja, Feb. 7, 2019
The Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU) has finally suspended its three months old strike.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU National President said this while addressing newsmen after a two-hour closed door meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, on Thursday in Abuja.
ASUU had embarked on strike on November 4, 2018 over its demands for revitalization of universities, academic earned allowances, issuance of Universities Pension Management Company and other issues.
According to him, after government proposals for addressing all outstanding issues in the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA), NEC resolved to suspend the strike.
“The strike is suspended conditionally with effect from 12.01 a.m on Friday, February 8.
“However, should Government fails to fulfill its part of the agreement as reflected in the 2019 Memorandum of Action, ASUU shall resume its suspended strike as the union deems it necessary,” he said.
In his address, the minister said eight areas of disagreement were discussed and resolved by the two parties.
According to him, we have dealt with all the eight contending issues and some of them have been implemented.
“ASUU has license for the Universities Pension Management Company on January 28, 2018.
“On the issue of salary shortfall in the universities, the Federal Government has released N16billion, out of which N15.384billion is for universities, while the rest is for other tertiary institutions.
“The Vice-Chancellors have acknowledged the receipt of the funds.
“We also have the issue of a committee to liase with state government-owned universities, ASUU and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education. That committee has been inaugurated two weeks ago.
“The visitation panel has been constituted and will commence work on March 2, 2019.
“On the issue of earned allowances, the Federal Government has released N20billion for the payment to all categories of university staff.
“For the earned academic allowance, the Federal Government has released N25billion and for the revitalization fund, a total of N25billion will be released in the period between April and May 2019.
“The Federal Government will also resume full implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into in 2019, ” he said.
Ngige commended ASUU for its patience and understanding.