Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam has disclosed that the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities may end in the next one week. The governor, who doubles as chairman of the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy Assessment Implementation Committee of the universities, gave this assurance shortly after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said, “I want to say that we are having negotiation with ASUU. In the next one or two weeks, we should be able to arrive at something that will necessitate them calling off the strike, once we are able to agree with them on all issues that they have raised.
“So far, there are only two outstanding issues, the NEEDS assessment and the earned allowances. The NEEDS assessment which I’m handling, we have virtually concluded. I think by next week, it will be definite. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>
“The earned allowance, the SGF is still holding meeting (with them), I believe that in the next one week, given the seriousness of the issue, we will be able to come to some level of agreement with ASUU, which will probably lead to calling off the strike. I am not saying they are calling off the strike, we have to agree on these two remaining issues.”
According to Suswam, the Committee would still meet with ASUU on Tuesday and that a sub-committee with ASUU inclusive had already been enacted to wade into the NEEDS assessment document and get out some projects that the President will immediately inaugurate between now and September.
He assured that Nigeria’s universities would soon be given a new lease of life.
He added, “Already, we have called all the funding agencies and we have been holding meetings with them.
“What we are trying to do is that all the monies of agencies and individual capacities be harnessed so that it will be well coordinated. Then we know that this is how much the Federal Government is spending on our institutions on a yearly basis, as it is now. But as things are now, nobody knows apart from the budgetary money, which is passed by the National Assembly. Nobody actually captures what is being expended by TETFund, NITTDA, CBN amongst others.” He added.