Africa

Nigeria university lecturers union ASUU calls off strike

Students at Lagos State University on 1 July 2003
Image caption The government has promised to refurbish universities

A five-month strike by lecturers which closed all public universities in Nigeria has been called off after the government paid for refurbishments.

Lecturers are returning to work because the government had deposited money into a development fund for campuses, union leaders said.

The government had initially pledged to spend $1.3bn ($800m) to refurbish badly maintained public universities.

Nigeria is Africa's main oil producer, but its infrastructure is poor.

Education Minister Nyesom Wike had threatened to dismiss lecturers who failed to return to work by 4 December.

However, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) defied the ultimatum, continuing with the strike until it was called off on Tuesday.

ASUU has received proof that the government had deposited a significant amount of the $1.3bn into a fund at the central bank, union leaders are quoted by local media as saying.

"We implore our members to go back to class and the government to keep to every part of the agreement," ASUU official Karo Ogbinaka told the private news station Channels.

About 1.2 million students study at Nigeria's public and private universities, AFP news agency quotes the National Universities Commission as saying.

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