Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has given indication that the striking lecturers are willing to go back to the classroom provided the federal government complies with agreements.
Osodeke made this known on Thursday, at a national town hall meeting on tertiary education tagged: ‘The Locked Gates of our Citadels: A National Emergency.’
“If the government loves this country, these children and their parents, then they should come to the table and let us resolve these issues in one day,” Osodeke said.
“Just as we did in 2014, they should come and ensure that we do that, we can even have the meeting openly so that Nigeria will see what we are discussing.”
The academic admonished the federal government to consider the students who have been out of school for the past seven months and reconsider the position to end the lingering strike.
According to Osodeke, one of the things the federal government needs to do is to honour the 2019 agreement it had with ASUU to end the industrial action embarked upon by the union on Monday, February 14.
ASUU earlier had given conditions to call off the strike. Dele Ashiru, the University of Lagos chapter chairman of ASUU told BusinessDay that except the federal government is willing to implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement and pull out of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and begin to use the University Transparency, Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform the lecturers will not back down from the strike.
“To end the strike, the federal government should implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement and pull out of the IPPIS with immediate effect and use UTAS as a payment platform for lecturers,” he said.
The federal government had already rejected the Nimi Briggs committee recommendation of N2 million for professors but instead adopts to pay a 23.5 percent salary increase according to the minister of education.
Besides, the federal government’s new policy of ‘no work, no pay’ does not go down well with ASUU members which is one of the reasons the strike is still lingering.