After meeting with the Federal Government on Monday over the lingering University strike embarked upon by lecturers since February 14 2022, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has hinted the strike will likely be called off this week and the institutions fully re-opened next week for academic activities in the country.
ASUU yesterday expressed optimism that the intervention by the House of Representatives on its ongoing face-off with the Federal Government would yield desired results.
The President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, who spoke when the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, briefed the union in Abuja after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari said, “For the first time, we have seen light at the end of the tunnel.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Education had previously given a hint that ASUU will likely call off its ongoing strike while confirming negotiations are still ongoing between the Federal Government and the union.
Adamu confirmed that the government has agreed to release the balance of N23billion Earned Allowances to the striking lecturers.
The Minister said that the Ministry of Finance has promised to undertake a forensic audit of the N30billion allowance earlier released to the lecturers, bringing the total to N53billion, speaking at a separate meeting with the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFund),.
“They (lecturers) asked for N23billion to be paid. But we said the condition for that N23billion to be released was for them to account for the N30billion they had taken, which is a total of N53billion. And they were not able to account for it.
“The Minister of Finance undertook to do the audit from the ministry. And we agreed that the result will be known in six months. During that six months, government undertook to be paying them N1.5billion each month during the time they are waiting for this”, Adamu told the committee.
He said the Ministry of Finance has already approved the release of the funds but not yet cash backed. “Probably, by Monday, they will be able to receive the cheque. And we will do forensic audit on the entire N53billion”, he assured.
But Adamu insisted that a major request by ASUU, that federal universities be exempted from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) will not be granted.
On Monday, ASUU, an umbrella body of all university lecturers in Nigeria, declared a total, indefinite, nationwide strike over Federal Government’s failure to fulfill the 2009/2013 Agreement made with the Union.