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Buhari Didn’t Direct Me To End ASUU Strike In Two Weeks, Says Education Minister

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The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has denied getting a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in two weeks.

There were reports that Buhari gave the directive in July during a meeting with some ministers and heads of Federal Government agencies involved in the moves to end the prolonged strike by the university lecturers.
ASUU and other trade unions in the education sector have been on strike for over six months over alleged failure of the Federal Government to keep to agreement entered with the unions.

The demands of the striking workers include issues bordering on funding of universities, salaries, and earned allowances of lecturers.

However, Adamu, while speaking to State House correspondents during the weekly ministerial briefing in Abuja on Thursday, said contrary to what the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, told journalists, President Buhari did not gave him ultimatum to end the ASUU strike.

The minister further disclosed that five of the university-based unions will likely call off their strike within the next one week while that of ASUU remains uncertain.

He stressed that he would not agree with ASUU on the demand for their members to be paid the backlog of salaries withheld within the period of six months that they were on strike, noting that it is the penalty for their action.

Adamu stated that in spite of the N2.5 trillion expended on education by President Buhari’s administration through the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) as well as Universal Basic Education (UBEC), surpassing the N1.2 trillion demanded by ASUU, university lecturers maintained their position to embark on what he described as a needless strike.

The minister, however, said ASUU has begun consultations with their members to determine whether to call off their strike.

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