Nigerian university teachers have suspended an eight-month strike after authorities agreed to invest $1 billion to improve pay and working conditions.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria announced the suspension in a statement early Friday after an overnight national executive council meeting and directed its members to resume their services immediately.
The lecturers' union said the decision followed weeks of intense negotiations with Nigerian authorities and a court order to suspend the strike.
University lecturers walked away from classes February 14 to protest pay disputes. The union also said Nigerian authorities had reneged on an earlier promise to invest about $3 billion into public schools.
But last week, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presented a national budget for 2023 and earmarked about $690 million for universities, and $390 million for polytechnics and colleges of education.
Authorities also resolved to pay lecturers for the months they were away from class.
Peter Adamu, a member of the ASUU executive council, said authorities have not completely met the union's demands but there is progress and both sides have made arrived at a middle ground.
“So we are hopeful that both sides will keep to this agreement,” Adamu said. “The union has kept their own side of the agreement, so we are hoping the government will also fulfill their own part of the agreement.”
Protests by teachers unions over pay, welfare and crumbling facilities have been common in Nigeria's education system for decades and sometimes last many months.
A previous strike in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic lasted nine months, the longest in Nigeria's history.
ASUU said negotiations will continue as the schools open. Many hope issues between unions and the government can be resolved for good.