President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, rued the continuation of the strike embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities since March 2020.
He said it was “amazing” that the lecturers have refused to suspend their eight-month-old strike.
Presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying this after a meeting with 36 state governors on insecurity.
Shehu quoted the President, who he said spoke on the eight-month-long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, as saying, “Lecturers had not taken into consideration the larger challenges facing the country.
“Government conceded something. The problem is that they refused to look at the problem of the whole country.
“The Minister of Labour is working hard at it. It is amazing how ASUU will stay out of classrooms for so long. There’s a need for our elites to understand the challenges facing the country.”
ASUU embarked on strike since March 2020 over demands for more funding for public universities and renegotiation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.
The union’s other demands are outstanding earned academic allowances, the proliferation of universities by state governments and the constitution of Visitation Panels to Federal Universities.
It also opposed the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System used in settling workers’ salaries by the Federal Government and instead, developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which is currently undergoing test-run by the National Information Technology Development Agency.
Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union had also proposed the University General and Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System in place of the IPPIS.
FG said it had agreed to pay N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance, N30billion for the revitalisation of the education sector, and the arrears of salaries to the university teachers, adding that the only outstanding issue was the disagreement over the payment platform.
But ASUU said it is consulting with its members on the next step to take.