ASUU strike: Buhari okays fresh panel to review no-work, no-pay policy

… As minister flares comment by union’s president

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the setting up of a fresh committee to review the demands made by university lecturers with a view to ending the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu announced this on Tuesday, during a meeting with Pro-chancellors and Vice Chancellors in Abuja.

Adamu said the committee is made up of four Pro-Chancellors and four Vice Chancellors, while he is the chairman.

He said the committee is to look into the additional demands ASUU is making particularly the areas where there has not been consensus.

The minister said he would brief Buhari on the outcome of the meeting.

He noted that the committee will be looking at two major areas of contention, the ‘No Work No Pay’ and remuneration of university lecturers.

While he could not give the time frame for the committee to work, Adamu however noted that given the atmosphere in the meeting, they are looking at days.

He assured that they are not jettisoning the Briggs committee but that it is in continuation of what the committee did.

On if there will be a review on the government side on ‘NO work No Pay,’ he said: “There has been an appeal generally for the system to take a second look at that and that is what the committee will look into.”

Earlier, the minister said: “Government should not, in the guise of resolving current challenges, sow seeds for future disruptions.”

“For me, the past two weeks have been a very dark period of personal anguish and internal turmoil. I used to deceive myself that in a climate of frankness, and with mutual goodwill, it will fall to my lot to bring an end to the incessant strikes in the education sector. This has not proved possible – or, at least, not as easy, quickly and straightforward, as I used to think,” he added

The minister, however, noted that the statement by ASUU President that the Union would no longer negotiate with the current Federal Government must be resisted.

He said: “Government and ASUU have no option than to continue talking, until our Universities have reopened their doors to students who, clearly, are the principal victims of the seemingly unending strikes. In the circumstances, therefore, all Councils and Senates of our Universities are enjoined to rise up to their responsibilities.”

“We must, together, continue to work to restore our public universities to where they were in the 60s and 70s. As the most important officers in our university system, Pro Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors, must demonstrate more commitment to ending the ongoing strike,” he added.

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