President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met the national leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to discuss the lingering strike in the education sector.
The meeting took place at the Council Chamber in the presidential villa, Abuja.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since November 4, 2018.
Polytechnic lecturers (ASUP) joined their university counterparts on December 12, 2018.
The lecturers are protesting poor funding of universities and the failure of the government to implement an agreement it signed in 2009 with ASUU to improve facilities and enhance staff welfare at the institutions.
The strike has left academic activities in the various institutions paralysed, and talks held so far to resolve the dispute have ended in a deadlock.
NANS had earlier issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government, ASUU and ASUP on December 23, 2018, to call off the strike or face confrontation.
Also, the students’ association also issued a notice to all NANS structures and organs to commence mobilisation for mass action against the federal government, ASUU and ASUP.
Speaking with journalists after the closed-door meeting, one of the delegates from the University of Abuja said it was a productive meeting.
“The president told us that the current price of crude oil is low and what the country is generating from that will not take care of all that government needs to provide for the people and also pay all the demands of ASUU,” he said.
He also said there were other areas that require government attention.
When asked if meeting and approving the stance of the president will not amount to backstabbing ASUU, Mr Yahuza said, “the president told us the truth and we are trying to plead with them. Just like the president said, the government is going to look at everything gradually and in the nearest future.”
But, ASUU, on Thursday, declared that it would not be distracted by the 2019 elections in its struggle to revitalise public varsities.
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