Education minister promises to reopen universities soon

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu addressing teachers at the 2020 vehicles won in the Presidential Teachers' & Schools’ Excellence Award on 5th October, 2020

Nigeria’s Minister of Education minister, Adamu Adamu has pledged to ensure that universities are reopened soon as the strike by Academic Staff Union of Univerisites (ASUU) lingers.

Mr Adamu said the government would ensure a truce is reached with ASUU soon.

Both parties are expected to meet again on Wednesday after previous meetings have not yielded a consensus.

Adamu also blamed the previous administration for being responsible for the continuous strike by the ASUU members due to the agreements entered into with the union.

He might be alluding to the Goodluck Jonathan administration, which he said should not have entered into such an agreement with ASUU to release a whopping sum of N1.3trilion to the union when it knew that it would be difficult if not impossible to pay the amount considering the economic situation of the country.

The Minister was answering a question asked by a Corps Member on the persistent ASUU strike, during a Town Hall meeting on security issues tagged Engaging the Youth and Communities held at the Multi-Purpose Indoor Sports Hall Complex Bauchi on Monday, which was organised by the state government at the instance of the federal government.

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The minister also said that the unsolvable problem that has resulted to incessant strikes by ASUU is that “a government in this country went and sat down with ASUU and agreed on some conditions that it would pay universities the sum of N1.3 trillion.”

He added that, “I do believe that while they were signing that agreement, they knew that it was not possible for them to implement it. There is just nowhere N1.3trn will come out from. I think the basic problem between the ASUU side and the government side has been deciding on what to do about this N1.3 trillion. If a government appends its signature to an agreement, it is an agreement.”

The Education Minister further said that the government was not happy that the strike was still on promising, however, that an agreement will soon be reached by the government and ASUU.

He said that “We are not happy that our campuses are closed, we are not happy that the calendar of schools has been disrupted. But the fault is the government that signed to do what it knew it could not do. But I assure you that we are on verge of reaching an agreement and very, very soon we will reach an agreement with them,”.

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While responding to another question asked by a teacher, Adamu said that the President has pledged to be paying anyone who intends to be trained as a teacher immediately after secondary school.

“There is a pension scheme exclusively for teachers. All teachers’ children will be taught free in school. They won’t pay a single Kobo in the course of training their children. The government also approved special allowances for rural postings, like hardship allowance. There is also preferential to housing scheme for teachers.”

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