The Presidency says the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities can reach favourable agreements within two or three weeks if all stakeholders are not “unrealistically obstinate.”
The Presidency also cleared the air on the intervention of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, saying he voluntarily chose to resolve the five-month ASUU strike within two or three weeks, and not pressured by President Muhammadu Buhari to do so.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday, said Adamu requested that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, hands off of the negotiation to allow him to conclude his initial negotiations with the striking union.
The statement titled ‘On university strikes, government is ready for business,’ partly read, “Neither during nor after the meeting was any ultimatum given to the Minister of Education. During the meeting, the Minister of Education requested that the Minister of Labour hands off the negotiation to allow him to lead and conclude what he had earlier on started with the Academic Staff Union of Universities. And he promised that he could get an agreement within the shortest possible time, possibly two to three weeks.
“In carrying out this assignment, the Minister will carry along all relevant ministries and agencies with statutory functions and duties relating to the issues involved.
“The Presidency is optimistic that agreements can be reached in an even shorter period if all parties/stakeholders are not unrealistically obstinate. We appeal to the parties to work together to end the strikes.”
The statement added that the Buhari-led administration’s doors remain open for dialogue and the resolution of the issues.
It, however, appealed to the media to avoid “spreading misinformation,” saying that the two-week-ultimatum narrative making the rounds is “not helpful at all.”