President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the Academic Staff
Union of Nigeria Universities to call off the industrial action embarked upon
by its members in the overall interest of the nation. The President made the call on Tuesday in
Ndufu-Alike, Abakaliki, during the third convocation of the Alex Ekwueme
Federal University, Ebonyi State.
Represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National
Universities Commission, Mr. Victor Onuoha, Buhari said the Federal Government
had provided the requisite environment for teaching and learning in Nigerian
“Consequently, I urge ASUU to suspend its ongoing industrial
action in the overall national interest.
“This administration is not unmindful of the fact that funding
for education may not be adequate largely due to lean resources and other
competing national needs. I want to assure Nigerians that we will continue to
do the needful within the limited available resources,” he said.
The President also congratulated the university and felicitated
with the graduating students for completing their university education.
While urging the graduates to be good ambassadors of the
institution, he said, “These fresh minds represent our hope for a better future
as they are expected to invest their time and intellectual resources in the
development of our nation and the world at large.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is determined to provide the
requisite environment for teaching and learning in the university system. This
result is one of the reasons for the energising education programme we have
started and the Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, is one the nine
beneficiaries in the first phase.
“Universities have critical roles to play in nation building.
They must justify this through excellent, innovative ideas and empowering the
youth with right mental attitude, functional knowledge and saleable skills to
be globally competitive and develop our nation.
“Nigerian universities should ensure that students are provided
with capacities to discover their innate qualities and use same to impact
positively on the global economy,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris
Ngige, on Tuesday said progress was being recorded in the negotiation with the
leadership of ASUU, stressing that the meeting which he held with ASUU leaders
on Monday was not deadlocked.
The minister explained that the meeting ended after two hours
because parties involved in the negotiation agreed on the implementation and
work plan of the reports submitted at the meeting by ministries, departments