Buhari meets with pro-chancellors, promises further talks

• Pro-chancellors ask DPO to reconsider no-work-no-pay policy

The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), promised Friday to extend ongoing talks between the federal government and university academic staff to end the seven-month strike.

“I will consult further and get back to you,” Buhari told the chairman and selected members of pro-chancellors of federal universities in the State House, Abuja.

According to a statement signed by the president’s special adviser for media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the president pledged to continue consultations with relevant stakeholders to end the prolonged strike by university teachers.

The statement is titled “ASUU Strike: President Buhari Meets Pro-Chancellors of Varsities, Promises Further Consultations.”

The president said, without necessarily going back on the policies already established, “I will consult further and I will contact you.”

The pro-chancellors were led to the meeting by Professor Nimi Briggs, who said they had come in three capacities to meet the president: “As president and commander in chief, as father of the nation, and as visitor to federal universities.”

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Citing the recent listing of the University of Ibadan among the first 1,000 universities in the world, Briggs noted that “the future of the university system in the country is bright,” despite the seven-month industrial action.

Prof Briggs praised the federal government for the concessions already made to the striking teachers, including offers to increase salaries across the board by 23.5 percent and 35 percent for professors.

However, he asked for “a further increase in salary, given the economic situation of the country”.

The pro-chancellors also called for a reconsideration of the government’s no-work, no-pay stance, promising that teachers would make up for lost time once an amicable situation was reached and schools reopened.

Education Minister Goodluck Opiah said all concessions from the federal government were intended to ensure the union action would end, but ASUU has remained adamant.

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