ABUJA – The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has invited the Ministers of Finance and Education over the planned strike by Academic Staff Union if Universities (ASUU).
He made the announcement on Tuesday at the plenary while the house was debating on the need to intervene to prevent the strike.
Gbajabiamila said that he would meet with the ministers and the leadership of ASSU to resolve the disagreement between the union and government.
Moving the motion earlier, Rep. Julius Inovebere (APC-Edo) said that ASUU was threatening to proceed on another industrial action on a matter that had been on the front burner for so long.
According to him, the matter remains the implementation of negotiated and signed agreements with the Federal Government.
He said that government had not been forthcoming as no consistent seriousness was being given to the urgent need to reposition and refocus the education sector in line with our developmental objectives.
“ASUU President has threatened to call out his members across the nation, if all the issues, including those of unpaid academically earned allowances and the universities revitalisation fund are not addressed within a period of three weeks.
“Further aware that the future of Nigerian students once again, will be negatively impacted, if this impending strike by ASUU is not nipped in the bud by the Federal Government.
“Incessant strikes disrupt the academic calendar and contribute significantly to the poor quality of graduates in the country, with far-reaching implications for national development.
“Also, strikes encourage brain drain, migration of students abroad and low world rankings of our academic institutions,” he said.
The lawmaker said that since the last strike was called off in December, 2020, the Federal Government had continued to pass the buck.
Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta) said that a covenant was sacrosanct and that agreement between government and citizens was based on trust.
Ossai said that he went through the university and government provided basic necessities saying that as lawmakers, the house must ensure today’s students enjoy the same right.
Also, Rep. Nkiruka Onyejeocha (APC-Abia) said that the agreement was not signed under duress, and urged the government to honour the pact.
The house resolved and urged the Federal Government to urgently take all necessary measures to open a realistic negotiation with ASUU.
The house urged the government to stop the strike and implement the signed agreement in the interest of our students, their parents, the education sector and the country.