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Buhari Gives Education Minister Two Weeks Ultimatum To Resolve Impasse With Varsity Unions

President Muhammadu Buhari has given the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, two weeks to resolve the impasse that led to five month strike embarked up by Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), and three other university-based unions.

President Buhari gave the directive on Tuesday after he received briefings from the relevant government Ministries, Agencies and Departments involved in resolving the face-off with the university unions.

DIPLOMATIC DIARY reports that ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.

The Union had further extended its ongoing strike by another 12 weeks on May 9,  to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues after an extension on March 14 due to an alleged lack of seriousness on the part of the federal government.

Other Varsity Unions, including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists, (NAAT), are currently on strike. 

However, the Federal Government Briggs renegotiation committee, had since April 2022, been meeting with ASUU and the other unions to resolve the impasse.

Tuesday meeting which was summoned by President Buhari, was to get briefing from the government team on why the strike has lingered for too long.

Sources at the meeting also said that President Buhari directed that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige must be in all of the meetings to resolve the crisis.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Boss Mustapha, sources say, was also mandated to be part of the team to interface with the striking unions.

Those at the meeting were the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Chairman of National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, the Director-General Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.

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