Adamu Adamu, minister of education, says the government has failed on its own part to work with agreements reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Speaking after the federal executive council meeting in Abuja, Adamu said it is painful seeing the union embark on strike while he is a minister.
“Late last year, we had a meeting because ASUU gave one week notice of strike and we were able to work out some agreement,” he said.
“I must confess that government has not fulfiled its part of the bargain. I hope I will be meeting them later today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday) and I am sure we will be able to reach some agreement so that the strike will be called off as soon as possible.”
Adamu said the grievances of the lecturers would be looked at in the meeting with the leadership of the union.
“I am sure you are aware of the issues we agreed on. There is the issue of renegotiation which is the only one they agreed government has done what it promised because we set up the renegotiation team and negotiation is already ongoing,” he said.
“There is the issue of earned allowances and I think because of some miscommunications, what we promised could not be done, but am I assuring ASUU and the whole nation that this is going to be done.
“There is the issue of registration for Nigerian Universities Pension Commission. I think on that one, there are a few issues that need to be sorted out with the Nigerian Pension Commission. I believe there will be no problem with that.
“On the issue of their staff school, I think the court has given them verdict to go ahead with it. They have requested that they should be allowed to stay off TSA and I think the government will not do this.
“But there are some peculiar funds in the university like endowment which are monies kept and all the interest they generate, prices and so on are given.
“Government will exempt that one only. But universities are part of the peculiarities. They just must log on. I hope later on when I meet them today, there will be total agreement.”
Since ASUU announced that the union is going on strike, public commentators have called out Adamu who wrote in defence of ASUU before his appointment.
“Instead of hectoring ASUU to call off its strike, the nation should be praying for more of its kind in other sectors of the economy. Since the government has shown itself incapable of doing the right thing until it is forced, the nation should be thinking of organising the association of Nigerian farmers to go on strike to force the government to do for agriculture what ASUU has been struggling to make it do for education,” he had written in the past.