The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has asked the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government to opt for an out-of-court settlement in resolving issues surrounding the union’s ongoing strike action.
The court took the decision while hearing the appeal by ASUU over the September 21 judgement of the National Industrial Court, which ordered the university lecturers to suspend their strike action.
Femi Falana (SAN), lead council to ASUU and Mister James Igwe (SAN), lead counsel to the Federal Government were all in court.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14.
In August, the union declared a “total and indefinite” extension of its industrial action, noting that the government has failed to meet its demands satisfactorily.
The academics seek improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
On Tuesday, Dr. Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment issued certificates of registration to two breakaway factions of ASUU in an apparent move to break the resolve of the striking union