Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila last night said that in a matter of days the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU will call off the 7-month-old strike that had kept the citadel of learning under lock and keys.
Rising from a meeting with the ASUU leadership led by its President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke called at the instance of the lawmakers, the speaker said that the deal had been sealed.
It will be recalled that the leadership of the House led by Gbajabiamila had in the last 4 weeks held 4 different meetings with the academic body to resolve the lingering, knotty issues with the government.
Last week, the Speaker led a delegation of lawmakers to the Presidential Villa where he met with President Muhammadu Buhari to submit the report of the meeting with ASUU.
Gbajabiamila said President Muhammadu Buhari would make a declaration on the “No Work No Pay” issue, which is a significant area of contention, on Tuesday, October 11.
He said that both the government and ASUU had agreed to shift grounds on their respective positions in overall interests of the students and the country at large.
all over the world and paying in hard currency as we are paying (overseas) so that our system will grow. That is why we are in this struggle. We want to have a university where the remuneration is enough to attract lecturers from all over the world, just as our people are going outside.
“As we speak today, we are having problems but we have not noticed it. We are creating so many universities but there are no qualified people to teach in those universities because the good ones are leaving. We just put people there, which is not good enough. We must create the environment. We are the Giant of Africa and we must act as the Giant of Africa. We should have people coming in – in droves – not people leaving. That is why we are here.
“I want to sincerely thank you for this resilience, your intervention. Please, let all of our work together and let us put a beautiful end to this thing we have started so that every Nigerian will be proud that we have universities we can be proud of. We thank you. We also extend our appreciation to the President for intervening. We do hope that this is the last one.
“I want to appeal that in future, we should not allow strikes to linger. A strike should not go beyond two days. If the way the National Assembly has intervened if we had done that long ago, from the beginning, to be allowed to do that all along, or if those in charge of Labour and Education had done exactly this, we would not be where we are today. We would not have stayed more than two or three weeks in this strike”, Osodeke said.