The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that its face-off with university based unions will soon be resolved and academic activities resume in earnest.
It would be recalled that all government owned universities were shut down on February 14 by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the other three university based unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, joined in the strike over the inability of the government to address their concerns.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, presidential villa, Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said the government was interested in seeing the students going back to school.
The minister said that the meeting on Thursday (tomorrow) is expected to look at the progress report by the relevant bodies handling the crisis including NITDA on how far it has gone with the integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability System, UTAS which was proposed as an alternative platform by ASUU and the University Perculiar Personnel and Payroll System, U3PS, proposed by SSANU and NASU.
Ngige said he was waiting for the report of the Tripartite Plus Committee comprising the Ministry of Education, the Chief of Staff, Salaries and Wages Income Commission, the National University Commission, NUC as well as the striking unions.
On the allegation that the federal government was planning to create a separate salary payment structure for the ASUU, the minister said there was no veracity in such allegation.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has summoned all the relevant agencies including the National Information Development Agency (NITDA) to brief it on the success so far recording in resolving the contentious issues that led to the ongoing strike by the four university based unions.