BY Samuel Akpan
The leadership of the house of representatives says it will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, said this on Tuesday after about five hours of closed-door meeting with the leadership of ASUU and Goodluck Opiah, minister of state for education, at the national assembly.
The legislators will meet with the president when he returns to Nigeria, although a date has not yet been set for the meeting.
Buhari is currently in New York, United States, attending the 77th session of the United Nations general assembly (UNGA).
Meanwhile, the lawmakers have invited the accountant-general of the federation, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), auditor-general of the federation, and the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to “finalise” on the meeting held with ASUU.
The invited government officials are to appear before the leadership of the house on Thursday.
Speaking after the meeting on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said some resolutions have been reached with ASUU.
“There are seven areas that ASUU has presented — what we consider to be requisition to go back to class,” he said.
“We have looked at these seven areas and we have more or less agreed on certain things.
“Pursuant to finalising the meeting of our minds, we have asked that NITDA, accountant-general, auditor-general and the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) will be invited.
“Unfortunately, it’s too late to invite them tomorrow because the letters will only go out tomorrow. They will be invited to meet with the leadership on Thursday so that we can dot the ‘i’ and ‘t’.
“We will meet with Mr President and lay before him the agreement made by this arm of government — the legislature and leadership of this house. We are hopeful and believe that Mr President will buy into the agreement and with that, I believe that this matter will be speedily brought to a close.
“In the meantime, between now and when Mr President comes, ASUU itself will go back to its members with the resolutions that we have come up with today.”
In his remarks, Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, said the resolutions reached with the lawmakers will be discussed with members of the union.
“In the very near future, the issue (strike) will be resolved,” he said.
ASUU had embarked on strike in February, halting academic activities in public universities for over seven months.
The federal government had also recently filed a suit against the union at the national industrial court over the lingering strike.
The court is scheduled to rule on the matter on Wednesday.