Reasons for the reversal of the order by the Federal Government (FG) to reopen public universities amid the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have emerged.
The Federal Government in the early hours of Monday, through a circular by National Universities Commission (NUC), ordered the Vice-Chancellors of public universities to reopen universities and have students resume academic activities.
However, the federal government withdrew its directive “to ensure that the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) resume and commence lectures immediately.”
The withdrawal of the order is contained in a letter titled; “Withdrawal of Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 Dated 23rd September 2022”, signed by the Director, Finance and Accounts of National Universities Commission (NUC), Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Abubakar Rasheed, in Abuja.
The counter letter partly read; “I have been directed to withdraw the National Universities Commission (NUC) circular Ref, NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 and dated 23rd September 2022 on the above subject. Consequently, the said Circular stands withdrawn.
“All Pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of Governing Councils, as well as Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities, are to please note.
"Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.”
Explaining the reason for the U-turn by the government, DailyPost reports that leaders and stakeholders particular about the impasse between the FG and ASUU requested the reversal of the initial circular.
A senior official in the Ministry of Education who pleaded anonymity revealed that “the circular was withdrawn to allow for more negotiation between the government and the ASUU following the ongoing invention by the Speaker of the House of Representatives”.
The order by the government came after the 14-gound appeal by ASUU against the court ruling directing striking lecturers to go back to work.