The Minister of Education, Hon Adamu Adamu, yesterday said the Federal Government are now willing to reach an agreement with the striking university lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He, however, expressed sadness over ASUU’s decision to embark on the strike when the Federal Government was addressing the issues they have raised.
ASUU, unfortunately, they have gone on strike and I am looking for them because all the issues are being addressed,” the minister stated while briefing reporters at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
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“The last thing that happened was that our committee looked at their demands, but renegotiations are going on. The Federal Government is ready to meet them on all issues they have raised and if there are so many meetings and the gap is not closing, then I think it’s not the fault of the government.
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, had on Monday declared a four-weeks warning strike, saying that the union tried to avoid the industrial action but the Federal Government was unresponsive in fulfilling their demands.
The lecturers also blamed their decision on the government’s inability to implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with them in December 2020.
While maintaining his resolve to reach an agreement with the union, Adamu believes there is always a solution to every problem.
The minister also reacted to several accusations by ASUU, including claims that he has consistently shunned the negotiation meetings but sends representatives.
He added that the allegation that government does not want a peaceful resolution to the crisis was not true. Rather, Adamu said he has been the one summoning every meeting held and has equally been in attendance, except within the period he was away for medical treatment in Germany.
When asked if the government would reach an agreement with ASUU before the end of the 30-day strike, the minister said he doesn’t know.