President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday expressed surprise over the continued nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Naija News reports that ASUU has been on strike since March 2020 over demands for more funding for public universities and renegotiation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.
Others are outstanding earned academic allowances, the proliferation of universities by state governments and the constitution of Visitation Panels to Federal Universities.
The union also opposed the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) used in settling workers salaries.
In a statement to newsmen after a meeting with the 36 state governors at the Presidential Villa, Buhari described as “amazing” the failure of the lecturers to suspend their strike.
The president slammed the university lecturers for not taking into consideration the larger challenges facing the country.
“Government conceded something. The problem is that they refused to look at the problem of the whole country.
“The Minister of Labour is working hard at it. It is amazing how ASUU will stay out of classrooms for so long. There’s a need for our elites to understand the challenges facing the country,” Buhari said.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has also berated the leadership of ASUU in a separate statement.
He condemned the president of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi for claiming that the federal government has failed to deliver on its promises.
The minister noted that the timelines had been complied with and “faithfully implemented”.
“The truth of the matter is that a ‘gentleman agreement’ was reached at the last meeting in which ASUU agreed to call off the strike before December 9, 2020, and the Minister, in turn, agreed that once the strike is called off, he would get a presidential waiver for ASUU to be paid the remainder of their salaries on or before December 9,” Ngige stated.