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Nigeria’s public university lecturers suspend strike after eight months

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress protest during a rally on closure of Nigerian Universities at the National Assembly complex in Abuja, Nigeria July 27, 2022. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigerian public university lecturers have suspended an eight-months old strike over pay which has kept students out of classrooms and triggered an appeal from the president to end it, the head of the union said on Friday.

The lecturers have been striking since February over better pay. They frequently strike over pay issues halting activities at public universities attended by most university-level students in Africa’s most populous country.

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) President Emmanuel Osodeke asked teachers to resume services on Friday but added that the issues were yet to be “satisfactorily addressed”.

“In deference to appeals by the president … and other well-meaning Nigerians, ASUU … resolved to suspend the strike action embarked upon on 14 February,” Osodeke said in a statement.

ASUU has been demanding an increase in pay and allowances and better funding for the country’s education sector. The government had asked lecturers to go back to work while negotiations continue.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a budget speech last week said the government was dismayed by the strike and had set aside 470 billion naira (US$1 billion) for salary enhancements in tertiary institutions next year.

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