The Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Orji Kalu, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to put more pressure on his ministers to end the lingering industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Mr Kalu, in a Facebook post on Wednesday, also told ASUU members to endeavor to make their negotiation with the Nigerian government easier so that students can resume academic activities.
“I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to put more pressure on his ministers and get the students back to class,” he said.
The former governor of Abia State who now represents Abia North District in the Nigerian Senate said a lot of people from his constituency have been out of school due the ongoing strike by ASUU.
“They have been on me and it gets me more worried,” Mr Kalu added.
He said as a legislator he does not have power to resolve the ASUU strike.
The senator said when he was governor of Abia State, he never allowed schools in the state to shut down because of strike.
He said negotiation is key to resolving the industrial action if there was determination by both parties to do so.
The ongoing ASUU strike is worse than insecurity in the country, he said.
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“I believe that the federal government and ASUU can end this strike today. Nothing derails a country like lack of education. It’s worse than insecurity,” the lawmaker stated.
Mr Kalu’s comment comes hours after workers, under the umbrella of the Nigeria Labour Congress embarked on a two-day nationwide protest against the continued shutdown of public universities.
The universities have been shut for more than five months over unresolved issues around underfunding and poor welfare.
Some of the demands of ASUU include the release of earned allowance for university lecturers, the release of revitalisation fund for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between ASUU and the Nigerian government and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.
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