ASUU leadership and a team of Federal Government during Monday’s meeting before the strike was suspended by the union. Photo: Sumner Shagari Sambo

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed lecturers to return to the classroom with immediate effect, after conditionally suspending its nationwide strike.

The union’s president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, made the announcement on Monday night in Abuja, after a reconciliation meeting with a Federal Government team led by the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige.

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Ogunyemi said the lecturers decided to suspend the strike action in view of the timeline of the October 2017 for the implementation of the signed agreement.

The ASUU president, who addressed a news conference, said the union will, however, resume the strike action if the government failed to fulfill its part of the agreement reached.

He called the agreement Memorandum of Action, adding that it was backed by a definite timeline for implementation.

ASUU embarked on the strike action on 13 August, 2017, to protest against government’s failure to implement agreements reached with it in 2013 and 2009.

The government, in 2009, signed an agreement with ASUU on the issues of conditions of service, funding, university autonomy and academic freedom.

Ogunyemi said the current agreement is based on mutual trust between the union and the government, adding that the trust of the union must be respected by the government.

On his part, Ngige had informed journalists that all the contentious areas had been sorted out.

The minister said areas of agreement reached include funding for revitalisation of public universities and the issue of Earned Academic Allowances; the issue of University Staff Schools and the implementation of the judgment of the National Industrial Court, National Universities Pension Management Company and guidelines for pension matters form Professors.