The Federal Government on Wednesday faulted the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) decision to embark on a one-month warning strike despite ongoing negotiations between both parties.
The union declared a 30-day warning strike on Monday over the federal government’s failure to honour the agreement signed by both parties.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who addressed State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, dismissed claims he had been shunning meetings with ASUU.
He said: “ASUU, unfortunately, have gone on strike and I am looking for them because all the issues are being addressed.
“The last thing that happened was that our committee looked at their demands but there are renegotiations going on. They submitted a draft agreement which the ministry is looking at.
“A committee is looking at the draft document. Immediately it finishes, the government is meant to announce what it had accepted. Then suddenly, I heard them going on strike.
“ASUU will never say I deliberately refused to attend meetings. I always call the meeting myself. The meetings I didn’t attend were those that happened when I was in hospital in Germany.
“We want a peaceful resolution. The federal government is ready to meet them on all issues they have raised and if there are so many meetings and the gap is not closing, then, I think it’s not the fault of the government.
“There is a solution to this. The negotiations are the solution and that is why I have said that I am surprised that ASUU has gone on strike.”
Asked if the government can reach an agreement with ASUU before the end of the 30-day strike, the minister added:
“I can’t give you time. I am ready to reach an agreement with ASUU now but since I’m not the only one, I can’t give you time but certainly we are going to reach an agreement very soon.”