The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reached a possible agreement with the Federal Government to resolve the ongoing strike, to enable public universities students go back to school.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this on Monday after a reconciliatory meeting with the representatives of ASUU led by its President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi.
He said the meeting was productive and the government has presented ASUU with offers for them to get back to their members and return on Thursday for an agreement to be signed by both parties.
He disclosed that over N15.4 billion has been paid to the lecturers across tertiary institutions in the country to offset arrears of salary shortfalls, while President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N20 billion to pay the outstanding arrears of Earned Allowance of the lecturers.
He said: “On salary shortfall in tertiary institutions, the Ministry of Finance and the office of the accountant general on having provided us with evidence that on the 31st of December, 2018, before the expiration of the current 2018 budget that they have remitted N15,389,940,335.71.
“This is to accommodate payment of shortfalls in all the tertiary institutions that have been verified by the Presidential Initiative.
“On the issue of earned allowances in the university system, they also showed evidence that the president has approved the sum of N20bn to be used to offset outstanding arrears of 2009, 2012 audit-verified allowances in the university system. This money is being worked out and will be released to ASUU as soon as the processes are completed.
“We also discussed the issue of the revitalization of public institutions which the then administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to inject about N220 billion into the university system every year for about six years,” Ngige said.
He added that government was committed to the agreement and that a token has been approved and would be released to ASUU.
He said the parties were working towards ensuring that the strike is called off this weekend to allow students to resume next week to schools.
Since November 4, 2018, Public Universities across the country have been under lock and key as ASUU leaders insisted the ongoing strike would not be called off until key demands of the Union are met.