Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State on Friday expressed the optimism that the ongoing industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities might end in the next one week....
Suswam, who is the chairman of the National Economic Empowerment
Development Strategy Assessment Implementation Committee of the
universities, spoke with journalists shortly after a meeting with
President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said, “I want to say that we are having negotiation with ASUU. In the
next one or two weeks, we should be able to arrive at something that
will necessitate them calling off the strike, once we are able to agree
with them on all issues that they have raised.
“So far, there are only two outstanding issues, the NEEDS assessment and
the earned allowances. The NEEDS assessment which I’m handling, we have
virtually concluded. I think by next week, it will be definite.
“The earned allowance, the SGF is still holding meeting (with them), I
believe that in the next one week, given the seriousness of the issue,
we will be able to come to some level of agreement with ASUU, which will
probably lead to calling off the strike. I am not saying they are
calling off the strike, we have to agree on these two remaining issues.”
The governor said the committee he chairs will be meeting again with
ASUU on Tuesday and that a sub-committee with ASUU inclusive had been
set up to look at the NEEDS assessment document and get out some
projects that the President will immediately inaugurate between now and
He said with the commitment by government to be releasing money every year, the nation’s universities would be given a new lease of life.
Suswam said the process would start with N1billion and that benefitting
universities would be selected across the six geopolitical zones, where
the President decides to launch any project. He added, “Already, we have
called all the funding agencies and we have been holding meetings with
“What we are trying to do is that all the monies that agencies and
individual capacities be harnessed so that it will be well coordinated.
Then we know that this is how much the Federal Government is spending on
our institutions on a yearly basis, as it is now. But as things are
now, nobody knows apart from the budgetary money, which is passed by the
National Assembly. Nobody actually captures what is being expended by
TETFund, NITTDA, CBN amongst others.