The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqqayatu Rufai on Tuesday exonerated the federal government from blame over the ongoing strike by university lecturers saying the government has made an offer to the lecturers but was yet to receive any response from their union.
The lecturers, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), started a nationwide strike on Tuesday to press home their demands for the implementation of the 2009 agreements with the Federal Government.
The minister, who was answering questions from journalists in Abuja, did not give any hint on the details of the offer made by the government to the union, but maintained that government was still expecting ASUU’s response.
“They are our colleagues, we meet with them, we discuss with them. There is an offer from government. We expected to hear from them and up till now we are expecting to hear from them,” she said.
Also commenting on the issue, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie said that ASUU was supposed to write the government in respect of the offer made to them during a meeting held between them about three weeks ago.
Mr. Okojie said that ASUU had informed representatives of the Federal Government that it would get its response after its National Executive Meeting (NEC).
“We have no official report from them. They should write to us. We have been meeting regularly. We even met on Sunday.
“About three weeks ago, there was an offer made to them by the government. They said that they were going to their NEC, what we expected from them is that they should have come to us and told us what was the result.
“As far as I am concerned, if they are on strike we don’t know. They should write to us,” he said. (NAN)