The Federal Government says it has released N163 billion to public universities from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in a bid to end the Academic Staff Union of Universities (Asuu) strike.
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen after a closed-door reconciliatory meeting with the leadership of the union on Monday in Abuja.
The Union commenced the strike on 4 November, 2018, to press home their demands.
Asuu’s demands include some areas of understanding in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action agreed with the government in 2017.
According to Ngige, the government has agreed to fund revitalisation.
“Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities. So, we have gotten some substantial agreement in most of the areas of the agreement.
“Most of the issues are being resolved, so they are going to go back to their members and present government’s offer to their council,” he said.
Ngige also said that the striking lecturers were not asking for N50 billion before they would suspend the strike.
He, however, added that if the total amount of the union’s demands was aggregated it would be more than the N50 billion as the government was paying in different compartments.
“These are debts of 2009 owed by the past administration, that is 2009 to 2012, so it is not our own debt and we have been doing a lot to settle these debts,” he added.
“So, we will be reconvening at the instance of Asuu. They said they want to go and consult with their members and they cannot call off the strike without consulting with their members.’’
The minister had said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated him to resolve all issues concerning the ongoing strike in the university system.