By Uzair Adam Imam
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has said that the federal government is ready to meet with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on all issues they have raised.
Adamu said that he was surprised by the decision of the union to embark on a four-week strike.
He added that the decision of the university lecturers came abruptly amidst ongoing meetings that aimed at resolving the menace.
The minister stated this on Wednesday while fielding questions from State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.
However, despite several negotiations, the minister also cleared the government of any fault over failure to reach an agreement with ASUU.
According to him, “ASUU, unfortunately, they have gone on strike, and I am looking for them because all the issues are being addressed. The last thing that happened was that our committee looked at their demands, but there are renegotiations going on. They submitted a draft agreement which the ministry is looking at.”
Speaking on ASUU’s draft agreement, Adamu said, “A committee is looking at it. Immediately it finishes, the government is meant to announce what it had accepted. Then suddenly, I heard them going on strike.”
Clearing his name over allegations from ASUU about his absence from meetings, the minister said, “ASUU will never say that. I always call the meeting myself. The meetings I didn’t attend were those that happened when I was in hospital in Germany.
“We want a peaceful resolution. The federal government is ready to meet them on all issues they have raised, and if there are so many meetings and the gap is not closing, then I think it’s not the fault of the government.
Asked about the possibilities of reconciliation between the FG and ASUU before the end of the 30-day strike, he said, “I can’t give you time. I am ready to reach an agreement with ASUU now, but since I’m not the only one, I can’t give you time, but certainly, we are going to reach an agreement very soon.”