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While reacting to their recent declaration of carrying on with the strike action, the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari slammed an ultimatum on the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while giving him two weeks to proffer a solution to the prolonged industrial action which had been undergone by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Sources in the Presidential Villa had revealed that the Nigerian President had given the directive on Tuesday during a meeting with relevant government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments (MDAs).
Although it is not unusual for the President to hold briefings with the ministers, it was gathered that President Buhari placed a high premium on the issue of resolving the lingering ASUU strike.
President Buhari was also reported to have instructed that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, must be in attendance in all the meetings to speedily resolve the crisis.
Those present at the meeting include Adamu, Ngige, and Mustapha, as well as the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; the Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan; the Chairman of National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta; and the Director-General Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.
President Buhari’s directive comes a week after he told the striking university lecturers that ‘enough is enough.’
ASUU commenced a nationwide strike on February 14 over the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector. Members had also decried the poor funding of universities, non-payment of salaries and allowances of some of their colleagues, as well as the inability of the government to pay earned academic allowance to lecturers, among other issues.
Since the industrial action began, several negotiations between the union and the government have ended in deadlock.