President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu to end the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike and industrial action by three other university-based unions.
The President gave the directive during a meeting with some Ministers and heads of Federal Government agencies playing roles in resolving the lingering crises within the tertiary subsector of the education sector.
Among those at the meeting, besides Adamu, were the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige; and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami.
Others were the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Chairman of National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, the Director-General Budget Office, Ben Akabueze.
ASUU proceeded on strike on February 14 with other unions also withdrawing their services after that as a result of the alleged inability of the Federal Government to meet their demands.
The three other unions that embarked on strike are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU); the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
Although none of those at the meeting would agree to speak to journalists on their way out, sources said the President summoned it to receive briefing from the government team on why the strike has lingered for too long.
The President, after hearing from those directly involved in the negotiations, ordered the Minister to ensure tthe impasse was resolved within two weeks and report back to him.
It was also gathered from sources that Buhari directed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, must be in any of the meetings to resolve the crisis.
It was also learnt that the President asked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, to be part of the team to interface with the striking unions.
One of the sources, said that the President commended Ngige in his efforts so far to resolve the face-off.