There are indications that despite the insistence of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to continue its lingering strike, the Federal Government is set to reopen shut universities.
According to sources in the Federal Ministry of Education, the academic staff are not the only set of workers in the university system and since non-academic staff are ready to go back to work, the universities should no longer be shut.
According to the source, “Moreover, there are some lecturers who are also ready to work, such people should not be shut out. Only a few days ago, a group addressed the press in Abuja, saying they are not part of the ASUU trouble. Their group is also working to be registered too.
“Non-teaching staff have also called off their strike and the university environment is not only for or about academic staff. Why should those who are ready to work be denied the opportunity to work?”
This is just as a meeting of Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of federal universities have been slated for next Tuesday at the National Universities Commission, NUC, Complex, Abuja. They are to meet with the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
The letter inviting them marked NUC/ES/138/VOL. 64/125 was signed by the Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, Chris Maiyaki, on behalf of the Executive Secretary.
The letter was titled “Industrial actions by university-based unions: Invitation to a special interactive meeting with the Minister of Education. “
It read: “As the pro-chancellors and the chairmen of councils and the vice-chancellors are quite aware, the industrial action by university-based unions has led to the closure of the institutions since February 14, 2022.
‘’You are also aware that the non-teaching unions have suspended their industrial actions with effect from August 24, 2022, while a final decision is being awaited from the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
“It has become necessary for the governing councils and the managements of the universities to be briefed on the decisions and actions taken by the Federal Government so far, to allow for a well-coordinated review of the situation, including building consensus around succeeding actions.”
It was gathered that at the meeting, the government would order the schools to be reopened and allow workers ready to work come back to their duty posts.
It would be recalled that ASUU on Monday insisted on continuing its strike after holding a National Executive Council meeting in Abuja.
A group of lecturers, under the aegis of the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, led by Dr Niyi Sunmonu, have dissociated themselves from the strike and said they were willing to resume work.
This is as the managements of some state universities are also taking steps to ensure the reopening of their institutions.