By Michael Oche, Abuja
The chances of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) calling off its 8 months strike increased yesterday after the Federal Government agreed to increase its offer to the university lecturers to N70 billion.
This decision was reached after a meeting between the leadership of the union and a delegation of the Federal government on Friday.
The government pledged to pay N40 billion as the Earned Allowance and N30bn for the revitalisation of the university system bringing the total payment to N70 billion.
The government also agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 4, 2020, but after due consultation with the government side.
The union leadership reached the agreement during a meeting with the government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, in Abuja, on Friday.
The agreement may likely bring to an end ASUU’s eight-month strike which has grounded academic activities in the public universities since March.
ASUU is expected to report the new offer to its organs and then communicate their decision to the government with the hope of calling the strike at a later date.
After the meeting which lasted more than eight hours, Ngige said the parley was fruitful, adding that the government made a proposal to ASUU which it would take back to its members.
He said: “Many issues were discussed at the meeting including salary shortfall, the payment system and revitalization of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting.”
ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi confirmed what the minister of labour and employment said but declined further comment.