Academic activities may pick up next week in the nation’s public universities as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would this weekend hold its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to take a position on the on-going five- month-old strike.
Saturday Sun source revealed that national officers and branch chairmen of ASUU have arrived at the venue of the crucial meeting to deliberate on the industrial action.
The industrial action, which enters 144 days today, took off on July 1, 2013 and has crippled academic activities in federal and state universities.
Ahead of the NEC meeting, some members of ASUU in two universities, Enugu State University (ESUT) and University of Agricultural Abeokuta (UNAAB) had announced that their institutions would open for academic activities.
Also, the authorities of the University of Lagos despite the on-going strike have started the screening/registration for new students offered admission for the 2013/2014 academic session.
The source told our Correspondent that ASUU is aware of public concern about the situation in the universities and that NEC would do the needful after deliberating on reports from the outcome of the various congress.
According to the source, having mourned and honoured late Professor Festus Iyayi, who died while on his way to Bayero University Kano (BUK) for a NEC meeting by suspending the meeting, ASUU leadership felt it was ripe to hold the crucial meeting.
He refused to give insight to the outcome of the NEC meeting but stressed that the decision would be fair based on the various congress resolutions of the meeting its leaders held with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Expectations were high before the postponed ASUU NEC meeting because of the death of its former national President that the industrial action would be suspended after the Federal Government shifted ground on the demands of the university lecturers.
Recalled that President Jonathan had to intervene after the Vice President, Namadi Sambo and the chairman, Implementation and Monitoring Committee led by the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam failed to produce positive results. At the crucial November 5 meeting with ASUU leaders in Aso Rock, the government agreed to provide N220billion yearly for the next five years and improve on the amount to be released for the contentious Earned Allowance.