FG begs ASUU to end strike

Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo, on Wednesday appealed to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to end their industrial action and return to work.
This is as 33 Heads of State have indicated interest in attending a conference on HIV/AIDS, which will hold in Abuja next week.
FEC deliberated on the strike and the general overview of the education sector and expressed worry about the effect of lecturers’ resort to strike and its effect on the polity.
Briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting, Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, said FEC resolved to establish negotiations with the striking lecturers at the cabinet level towards finding a lasting solution.
He said FEC called on ASUU to reconsider the usual resort to downing of tools when it has grievances against government, and urged the union to start considering other means of extracting its demands from government.
Moro said the Federal Government was not unmindful of the challenges in the education sector, which has seen students seeking admission in foreign educational institutions, including those in neighbouring Benin Republic.
Government was therefore, determined to curb the trend which it considers a waste of national assets and foreign exchange. Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, refuted accusations by the House of Representatives that the ministry had been delaying release of funds for the power sector, hence, the continued inadequate and unsatisfactory electricity supply across the country.
He said the ministry has instead been doing a lot to aid the Ministry of Power actualise its mandate of providing adequate electricity supply to Nigerians.
He cited the oversubscribed $1billion bond floated by the federal government to fund electricity infrastructure in the country, as well as release of appropriate funds for power sector reforms.
Ngama stressed that the “Ministry of Power has enjoyed tremendous release of funds” from the Finance Ministry and that Nigerians should be patient with government as it gradually rolls out the power projects that will guarantee up to 18 hours of electricity to consumers by 2014 as promised.
He also noted that the recent protest by staff of Ministry of Environment over unpaid salaries was considered by FEC, which directed relevant authorities to fast-track arrangements towards having the issue resolved as soon as possible.

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