Three of the four major demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities [ASUU] were accepted by the Federal Executive Council [FEC] at its meeting in Abuja yesterday, with government saying it was still studying the fourth, very important demand for a wage hike. Speaking after the FEC meeting, Information and Communications Minister Professor Dora Akunyili said "Government has accepted autonomy for the universities, increased funding and approved 70 years as the retirement age for lecturers." With regards to ASUU's first demand, a 109 percent pay hike for university teachers, Akunyili said "that one is being discussed."She said, "We must first go and look at what we have, the nitty gritty of it, our revenue profile. Can we afford it?"
She was however confident that the matter would soon be resolved, saying, "We will soon get to the end of it by the grace of God. It's a matter of dialogue, and dialogue is never automatic."According to Akunyili, President Umaru Yar'Adua would hold a meeting with relevant stakeholders on the issue of salary increment for the striking ASUU members before a final decision is made. She also said no one is happy that the universities are closed by the ASUU strike.

A big thank you to those who are making things work, its really wonderful, this is good news, we only hope it would finally be resolved soon.

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