The Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday disclosed that 80 per cent of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s demands had been met by Federal Government.
Wike, who made this known in a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Abuja, said the yet-to-be resolved issues were those of earned allowances.
He said that the other unresolved issue was the N400 billion annual capital expenditure to universities demanded by ASUU.
“The N400 billion they are demanding is not part of federal budget or Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention.
“And out of the N92 billion earned allowances demanded by ASUU, government has offered N30 billion to them for a start,” he said.
According to the minister, ASUU is considering the offer and had asked to be given until Thursday to enable it meet with its branches for a resolution.
“So, the purpose of this meeting is to tell you (NUT) how far we have gone because of the reports and the letter we got from the union that you are going on a solidarity strike with ASUU,” he said.
Wike also apologised to the NUT for his comments on Monday that the union had no business going on a solidarity strike with ASUU strike, saying he spoke “unofficially”.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, appealed to the NUT not to go on the proposed strike as it would only complicate issues.
Wogu said that NUT might not have been briefed appropriately on government’s efforts to resolve the crisis with ASUU and so appealed to the union to embark on the planned sympathy strike.
“One thing that is clear is that the Federal Government has started the implementation of the 2009 agreement. The matter can still be resolved,” he said.
In his response, the National President of NUT, Mr Michael Olukoya said teachers, under the umbrella of NUT were concerned with the lingering ASUU strike that was threatening the collapse of the education sector.
Olukoya said that all stakeholders should come together and explore ways of ending the crisis.
He advised both ASUU and the Federal Government to “put Nigeria first’’ in their negotiations and shun the idea of “buck passing”.
The NUT boss also called for the review of the conditions for accessing the intervention fund as the stringent conditions was preventing the institutions from benefiting from the fund.
He said that NUT was not threatening to go on the solidarity strike in the interest of ASUU, but in the overall interest of Nigerians. (NAN)