Breaking! University Lecturers Agree to End Strike

Good news is coming the way of Nigerian students as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, have agreed to end their eight-month old strike.

This was after a meeting on Friday where it was also agreed that the Federal Government would top up the payment to the varsities to the tune of N70bn.

The FG pledged to pay N40 billion as the Earned Allowance and N30bn for the revitalization of the university system to bring the total to N70 billion.

The FG also promised to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 4 but noted that it will take effect after due consultation with other officials in government.

The union leadership reached the agreement during a meeting with the government team led by the Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, in Abuja.

The union is expected to report the new offer to its organs and then communicate its decision to government with the hope of calling the strike at a later date.

Nigerians have been worried over prolonged industrial action which has left millions of students at home.

According to a government official who was present at the meeting, ASUU insisted that the agreement should not be made public until it has been approved by its members.

The union pleaded with the government side not to announce the details of the agreement in order to avoid its members getting annoyed.

The federal government had last Friday accepted the demand by ASUU that its members be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS pending the approval of their proposed payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS.

ASUU has been on strike to press home their demands for government to re-negotiate the 2009 Agreement, inauguration of Visitation Panels to universities, abolish the proliferation of state universities and governance issues in them.

Before the government introduced IPPIS to the union last year, the universities lecturers were receiving their payment through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS.

Ngige, after the meeting which lasted more than eight hours, said the deliberation was fruitful.

Ngige said: “Many issues were discussed at the meeting including salary shortfall, the payment system and revitalization of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting.”

ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, who only confirmed what the minister said declined to speak further with the press.

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