EDUCATION Minister Prof. Ruqqayat Rufa’i yesterday spoke of a plan by the Federal Government to review its agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) next year.
The planned review of the agreement signed by both parties in 1999, but yet to be implemented, came on the heels of the ongoing warning strike called by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of ASUU.
The one-week strike, which began on Monday, had crippled academic activities in federal and state varsities.
Expressing her disappointment over the strike , Prof Rufa’i said despite government’s promise to improve on the 2009 ASUU/FG agreement, the academic body still went ahead with the seven-day strike.
In a chat with The Nation, the minister called on parents and the students to plead with ASUU to call off the strike , hoping that normalcy will soon return to public varsities.
She explained that the government was also mindful of the situation and that it would continue to play its role.
Her words: “We agreed on two months with ASUU on how to move the 2009 agreement forward. Within those two months, there will be an appreciable improvement in terms of the critical areas that we agreed on. As a promise to ASUU, there will be improvement within two months.
“We are expecting that at any time they can call off the strike. ASUU agreed with us that was why they signed the two months agreement. Since ASUU has that confidence in us, they should allow things to work.
“Parents should be able to plead with ASUU that government is working, government is meeting their demands and next year we are going to review in terms of our agreement with them.
“But what we have agreed two years ago, the government will be seen to be actualising. So, where ever we have not been fulfilling, we have to do that in the next two months.
“Parents and the students should plead with ASUU to go back to work. And government is actually committed to its own responsibilities. It is not that government do not care about what is happening at the universities.”