President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to consider the plight of students and call off its ongoing strike The Trumpet gathered.
The President made the appeal on Thursday at the 19th National Productivity Day and the conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award (NPOM) at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja.
Buhari’s appeal came two days after ASUU extended its industrial action by 12 weeks accusing the government of being reluctant to address its demands.
He also urged students in public tertiary institutions to exercise patience as the Federal Government is striving to address the nagging issues in the nation’s university system within the ambit of available resources.
During the event, the President conferred the 2019/2020 awards on 48 eminent Nigerians and organisations in both public and private sectors, for their high productivity, hard work and excellence. Thirty-seven (37) individuals and 11 organizations.
Since the inception of the NPOM award in 1991, three-hundred and eighty-two (382) individuals and 97 organizations have been awarded.
In a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari recalled that he had earlier directed the Chief of Staff, Hon. Ministers of Labour and Employment, Education, Finance, Budget and National Planning to immediately bring all parties to the negotiation table to again critically look at the grey areas in the demands of ASUU and in fact, all other University-based labour unions.
While speaking on the theme of this year’s event ”Achieving Higher Productivity through Improved Education System”, the president promised that the Federal Government would continue to do everything possible to uplift the standard of the educational system in the country.
He added that his administration recognised that the future of any nation was contingent on the standard of its educational system.
Dr Stella Adadevoh who died in the line of duty curbing the widespread of the Ebola virus and Mr Babatunde Lawal who served as Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Affairs Office received posthumous awards.
Other awardees include the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, who was honoured for his role in advancing agriculture in the country, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, for his role in the war against COVID, Doctor Chikwe Iheakweazu, former Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the founder and CEO of Secure ID, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chairman and CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema among others.