The Federal Government has finally reached an agreement with leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this to reporters on Monday in Abuja shortly after a meeting with the striking lecturers.
This signals hope of resumption for students of various universities under ASUU following a strike which has been ongoing for over two months.
However, the union has yet to make a decision whether or not it is calling off the strike for academic activities to resume in the schools.
Senator Ngige told reporters after the meeting that the government has met a majority of the demands by ASUU, including the release of N15.4 billion for payment of salary shortfalls.
According to him, the government is also in the process of releasing another N20 billion naira for payment of earned allowances for university lecturers.
The National President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, also confirmed to reporters that an agreement was reached with the government at the meeting.
But he noted that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of ASUU would review their decisions based on the new commitment by the government.
Professor Ogunyemi insisted that it was only after the meeting of the union’s leadership that ASUU would announce its position on the ongoing industrial action.
After a series of meetings ended inconclusively, Professor Ogunyemi had reportedly led leaders of the union out of a discussion with the government in December 2018.
Senator Ngige swiftly denied this and faulted the reports that the striking lecturers walked out of the meeting.
He had, however, insisted that the government was concerned about the issues raised by the union and was committed to resolving them.
The minister had also assured the union that attention would be paid to three critical demands which included salary shortfalls, university revitalisation, and earned allowances of union members.