Vice President Yemi Osinbajo begs governors to end ASUU Strike

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday received All Progressives Congress Governors in his office at the Presidential Villa on a felicitation visit as he recovered from surgery last month.
While welcoming the Governors, Osinbajo expressed his appreciation for the visit and the good wishes.
The V.P. also commended the expertise of Nigerian doctors and the availability of cutting-edge medical facilities in the country.
But he regretted that regulations restrain doctors from advertising, and as a result, many people are unaware of the level of quality medical services available locally.

During the meeting, important national issues were also raised, especially regarding the economy and the ASUU strike.
The Vice President and the governors then agreed to engage these and other pressing issues further to bring urgent resolution for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
According to the Vice President, “we all need to work together on these critical issues. We need to think through things, and we need to do it fast.”

Present at the meeting were Governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State; Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara; Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, and the deputy governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday extended its six-month-old strike indefinitely until the Federal Government meets its demands. 

A member of the union, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the development to newsmen following a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the striking varsity teachers at the University of Abuja.

He said the union extended the industrial action after reviewing progress reports on ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government in the last four weeks when ASUU rolled over the strike.

Last week, the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu said the Federal Government had addressed most of the union’s demands including the release of N50b for the payment of earned allowances for academic and non-academic and non-academic staff of universities.

ASUU embarked on the strike on February 14th, 2022. It had then declared a four-week warning strike. But after a month, the lecturers extended it by eight weeks, saying the government needs more time to look at its demands.

Following the Federal Government and lecturers’ inability to reach a resolution, the union on May 9 further extended the strike by 12 weeks.

The university teachers are seeking improved welfare, the revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy among others. Several meetings between government representatives and ASUU have ended in deadlock. One such was held about two weeks ago with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission (NUC) in Abuja.

But a senior member of ASUU told Channels Television that the Briggs Renegotiation Committee did not come up with a new deal. The anonymous source said the committee had pleaded with the union to suspend the strike and promised that their concerns will be included in next year’s budget.

Since the industrial dispute, several groups and individuals have waded into the matter. The latest is human rights lawyer Femi Falana who asked the Federal Government to sign the renegotiated agreement with the striking workers.

“Instead of engaging in the diversionary tactics of blackmailing ASUU the Federal Government should ensure that the strike is called off by signing the Renegotiated Agreement with ASUU without any further delay,” Falana said in a statement he issued on Sunday.

“While calling on both sides to resume the negotiations in the interest of the country the Federal Government should be prevailed upon to end the prolonged industrial action.”

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