President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Education: Government will honour agreements with ASUU, says Buhari

*The Federal Government of Nigeria has restated its commitment to honouring promises made to the Academic Staff Union of Universities to prevent disruptive strikes, encourage uninterrupted academic programmes, and improve funding of educational institutions in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has affirmed it will honour promises made to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in order to prevent disruptive strikes, encourage uninterrupted academic programmes, and improve funding of tertiary educational institutions.

ConsumerConnect reports President Muhammadu Buhari gave the assurance Tuesday, February 1, 2022, while receiving members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), led by Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto; and Rev’d Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), at at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, FCT.

Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement issued in Abuja, said Buhari commended the leadership of NIREC for intervening in the year-long strike by ASUU, and holding consultations with the parties, agency report said.

No society, which wishes itself well, neglects its educational system and all its component parts, the President said.

He also urged the Council to inform ASUU that his administration regards them and the service they provide to the country very highly.

“’However, they should be cognizant of the fiscal pressures that we are currently facing. Nevertheless, we remain committed to honouring our promises.

“For their part, I would like to encourage ASUU to continue to work with us towards finding resolutions to the challenges that confront us,” stated Buhari.

The President also noted: “My administration is committed to this engagement and dialogue, and I urge them to stay the course towards a joint resolution in the best interest of our children and nation.”

Buhari as well responded to NIREC’s issue raised regarding finding sustainable solutions to the perennial and disruptive strikes that threaten the sanctity and integrity of the country’s university system in Nigeria.

According to President Buhari, he had directed his Chief of Staff, and the Honourable Ministers for Labour and Employment and Education to make resolving this issue a priority.

The President further disclosed that he had received briefing from the Minister for Labour and Employment, detailing where we the Federal Government and ASUU are as of now, given the various interested parties.

He, therefore, apprised the meeting as follows: “To show our commitment, several payments have been made over the last 6 months, addressing several of the issues you raised – details of which the Minister of Labour and Employment can make available to you.

“Funding has also been provided for infrastructure development across several public universities and several of them have begun drawing down on this facility to improve their level of infrastructure.”

He said: “Finally, and perhaps the most contentious of issues regarding the decision to use either the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) or the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS).

“As you may be aware, IPPIS was introduced as a means of blocking leakages. Through IPPIS, the Federal Government was able to save over N100billion annually from the core civil service alone.

“In view of the resistance from ASUU, we devised UTAS which is now on the table.”

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