Minister of Education Adamu Adamu has denied getting directives from President Muhammadu Buhari to end the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) within two weeks.
Addressing State House correspondents on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing, Mr Adamu said the president had directed him to end the industrial action within the “shortest time possible” without a specific. His statement refutes the assertion of Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who had disclosed that Mr Buhari ordered that the strike be halted in two weeks.
Mr Adamu’s briefing further revealed that the end of the strike is not in sight owing to the refusal of the federal government to pay the union the backlog of salaries withheld as punishment for embarking on the industrial action.
The minister admitted that some other university-based unions might return to work within the next week, but ASUU remains uncertain.
Mr Adamu argued that lecturers had maintained their position to go on an unnecessary strike despite the N2.5 trillion spent on education by the Buhari’s administration through the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) and Universal Basic Education (UBEC), surpassing the N1.2 trillion demanded by ASUU.
The industrial strike action has now entered its seventh month, with ASUU dialoguing with its members regarding its end.