By LAIDE AKINBOADE
ABUJA – The Federal Government and the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, led by its President Dr. Nasir Fagge yesterday, signed Memoradum of Understanding on the restructured 2009. Agreement.
ASUU President, Dr. Nasir. Fagge said the document signed would be presented to the union to take an affirmative stand on the suspension of the 5 months old industrial action.
He said with the signing of the MOU the 5month old strike would be suspended in a week’s time.
According to Fagge, “This is the response to the letter we wrote to Mr. President and this document would now be forwarded to our members and our members would give us direction. We are hoping that we would be able to meet with our members in less than a week.
I don’t have the power to call off the industrial action, it is only our members that can do that. And our members gave us a message to give to the Federal Government which we have done and within one week our members would meet. We already have the document which shows that Government is committed”.
The ASUU President said the development and revitalization of Nigeria’s education sector is the work of everybody.
“It is never too late for the nation to turn a new leaf and do what is right. Other countries that are smaller and less powerful than Nigeria have done it and have succeeded. It is rather unfortunate that Nigeria is not close to some of these smaller nations around us. It is now, we must properly fund our universities, we have lost lot of capital to nations like Ghana and Togo”, Fagge said.
He therefore assured Nigerians that ASUU would not take long in ensuring that the right thing is done as soon as possible.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike, who led the Federal Government team said the fact that ASUU signed the resolution shows the strike has already been called off.
Wike said, “Today is historic. We have a duty to restore normalcy into our schools. What this meeting shows is that all the contending issues have been resolved and ASUU President said they have a tradition and so he has to go back to report to their members even though all the issues have been resolved. It is clear; we believe that very soon our student would go back to the classroom”.
Among those at the meeting were the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike, President Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulweed Umar, ASUU National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof Julius Okojie, and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala,