The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Thursday gave an indication that there would be no strike by lecturers in the near future.
The union declared satisfaction with how the federal government was handling some controversial issues that led to last November’s warning strike.
It also expressed confidence that the future of Nigerian university education would be bright.
The ASUU National President, Biodun Ogunyemi, expressed the optimism in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
Mr. Ogunyemi said that he was hopeful that the negotiation committee set up by the Federal Government would henceforth chart the way forward for universities.
The lecturers had, on November 16, 2016, gone on a one-week warning strike to press home their demands.
ASUU members protested Federal Government’s non-implementation of an agreement it had with the union in 2009.
It also accused the government of using establishment of universities to score political points.
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ASUU said that it was opposed to such establishment.
ASUU is also aggrieved that the government did not pay entitlements such as the Earned Academic Allowance amounting to about N128 billion.
However, Mr. Ogunyemi told NAN that the government had begun to take steps toward discussing the issues with ASUU.
“On Tuesday, January 10, members of the executive committee of the union had a fruitful discussion with the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
“He set up a negotiation committee over the issues raised, and we are ready to dialogue; the stage is set.
“The minister assured us that most of the issues would be looked into, and that there would be an improvement in the education sector, particularly in the university system.
“We are hoping that government will keep to its promise,’’ Ogunyemi said.
He said that removal university staff school teachers from its payroll – which was also one of the contentious issues – had been resolved.
According to him, a court judgment on December 5, 2016, ruled that the staff schools are part of federal universities and, therefore, must be paid by the Federal Government.
“The court ruled that government must continue to finance university staff schools.
“Government has agreed to that in principle; when implemented, we can actually heave a sigh of relief,” he said.