Abuja - The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has promised to continue to work hard to ensure that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Federal Government returned to the negotiating table.
The NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that there was the need to find a lasting solution to incessant strikes in the country to ensure national development.
He called on both government and the striking lecturers to resume negotiations, especially in the interest of the students and for the future of the country.
"We are going to approach them and we are also going to approach federal government to ensure that they resume negotiations.
"If you look at trend of the strikes so far, starting from ASUU strike and health workers strike and perhaps some other strikes. Recently teachers also went on strike.
"They are all bothering on one thing, inability or refusal of the employers, especially in this case the federal government and state governments to fulfill the pledges they make arising from negotiations that are entered into and signed.
"For example since 2009 there has been a signed agreement between federal government and ASUU. One would have expected that even by showing goodwill, perhaps the lecturers would have seen reason that okay, if federal government agreed that it will be injecting N400 billion into universities every year.
"If in a given year it puts N100 billion in the budget ASUU would have seen that there is goodwill, government is determined, only that they don’t have sufficient fund to provide the N400 billion. They would have taken it."
While commending health workers for suspending their strike, he said the recent development, where striking lecturers decided to withdraw from negotiations with federal government, was not healthy for the country.
"Lecturers have decided to withdraw from the negotiation. I think it’s not a good thing.
"Luckily the health sector has already agreed. They have come to terms and they have suspended their strike.
"My prayer is that the joint implementation committee would be allowed to work and ensure that whatever is agreed is implemented within the given time."
NAN recalls that in 2001, the Federal Government and ASUU entered into an agreement which created room for re-negotiation every three years for impact assessment and implementation.
The agreement was due for re-negotiation in 2004 but it didn’t take place until 2007 and lasted more than two years to produce the 2009 agreement, which was freely entered into by ASUU and government.