Worried by the lingering Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gbajabiamila led the leadership of the House to see the President at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
During the meeting, he present some recommendations to Buhari as part of the lawmakers’ contributions to ending the industrial rift between the aggrieved varsity lecturers and the Federal Government.
While addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Speaker said the lawmakers are hopeful because the President had granted a good listening ear and accepted the details of the report.
Gbajabiamila disclosed that another meeting has been scheduled with the President for Thursday, the 6th of October.
He further noted that the House leadership came to the Villa after a series of engagements with ASUU and, having submitted the recommendations to the President, would be awaiting his final decision.
“After a series of engagements with ASUU, the leadership came up with recommendations to the President for approval. They came to discuss with the President, the recommendations,” Gbajabiamila said.
“The president had a good listening ear; he accepted the details of the report. We have another meeting on Thursday to take a final decision after he has digested the report.
“We are done with our meeting with ASUU. We are hopeful because we had a good engagement and he accepted the report and we clarified a few grey areas.”
ASUU has been on strike since February 14.
In August, the union declared a “total and indefinite” extension of its industrial action, noting that the government has failed to satisfactorily meet its demands.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.