The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Wednesday, admitted that the Federal Government indeed failed to meet its part of the agreement reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities last year which led to the ongoing industrial action declared by the union.
However, he said the government was not happy that ASUU embarked on the strike without following due process by giving adequate notice.
Adamu spoke with State House correspondents after the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister said the government had realised that it made some promises to the union which it has yet to fulfill.
He said he would be meeting with leaders of the union on Wednesday evening or on Thursday.
He expressed optimism that some agreements would be reached at the meeting and the strike would be called off as soon as possible.
The minister said, “It is very sad that I am here and ASUU is on strike. Late last year, we had a meeting because ASUU gave one week notice of strike and we were able to work out some agreement.
“I must confess that government has not fulfilled its part of the bargain. Though we are unhappy that ASUU went on this strike without following due process and giving us good notice, we realised that we promised something and we didn’t fulfill it.
“I hope I will be meeting them later today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday) and I am sure we will be able to reach some agreement so that the strike will be called off as soon as possible.
“I am sure you are aware of the issues we agreed on. There is the issue of re-negotiation which is the only one they agreed government has done what it promised because we set up the re-negotiation team and negotiation is already ongoing.
“There is the issue of Earned Allowances and I think because of some miscommunications, what we promised could not be done, but am I assuring ASUU and the whole nation that this is going to be done.
“There is the issue of registration for Nigerian Universities Pension Commission. I think on that one, there are a few issues that need to be sorted out with the Nigerian Pension Commission. I believe there will be no problem with that.
“On the issue of their staff school, I think the court has given them verdict to go ahead with it. They have requested that they should be allowed to stay off TSA and I think the government will not do this.
“But there are some peculiar funds in the university like endowment which are monies kept and all the interest they generate, prices and so on are given.
“Government will exempt that one only. But universities are part of the peculiarities. They just must log on. I hope later on when I meet them today, there will be total agreement.”