President Buhari Warns Ngige to 'Step-back' from ASUU Strike Negotiations

The Nigerian government is prepared to accommodate the majority of university professors' demands, giving them a big victory yesterday, and it's looking like a step in the direction to end the ASUU strike.

President Muhammadu Buhari gave Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu the go-ahead to put a halt to the union-based university's strike operations.

Also, the President instructed Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, to halt talks with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Only when necessary will Ngige's function be restricted to that of a mediator.

asuu strike update

Ngige had already been under fire from ASUU for allegedly extorting money and impeding the talks.

At the Presidential Villa, the President held a meeting with some of the ministers and chiefs of the Federal Government departments involved in the negotiations.

He ordered that the Federal Government and ASUU's continuing negotiations be concluded in two to three weeks.

He gave Adamu the urgent command to start coordinating, leading discussions, and harmonising terms with ASUU.

Adamu was also given instructions to arrange a meeting with the National Salaries and Wages Commission to discuss how to pay the lecturers on strike.

ASUU stated that it was willing to take into account the Federal Government's proposed 100% salary increase. 

However, there is additional reason for hope because out of the remaining N1.3 trillion in promises made by President Goodluck Jonathan's administration, universities may also receive over 320 billion in revitalisation funding right away.

Buhari reportedly stomped his feet at a meeting he had with Adamu and Dr. Ngige in the Presidential Villa, according to a trustworthy source who requested anonymity.

The President demanded a speedy resolution to the university closures, according to the source, who described the discussion as "frank and emotional."

According to the source, President Buhari directed the Minister of Education to "henceforth coordinate, lead talks and harmonise conditions with ASUU quickly" after finding mistakes in the negotiation modules.

"The President had received from Adamu the report of the Federal Renegotiation Team and ASUU before the session, which contained some crucial proposals to halt the six-month industrial action," the source continued.

Buhari said the negotiations should now be handled by the Minister of Education, who brought up the 2009 FG-ASUU Agreement Renegotiation Team after reviewing the efforts done by the two ministers and all agencies.

"The Ministry of Education will now serve as the home for the last phase of the agreement with ASUU.

But if there are disagreements, the Minister of Labor will now mediate between the two parties.

The government has agreed to raise the average federal university professor's salary to $1,300 per month.

Modalities for the payment of the additional salary will now be worked up by the Minister of Education, the National Salaries and Wages Commission, the Federal Ministry of Finance, and other institutions.

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