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Nigeria University Lecturers End Pay Strike

Members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) staged a protest against prolonged strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Lagos, Nigeria September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

Nigerian university lecturers on Friday suspended an eight-month strike over pay, welfare and crumbling facilities, the latest industrial dispute to hit Africa's most populous nation.

The strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) shut down federal government-owned universities since February 14 despite talks with government for a truce.

ASUU announced on Twitter it "has suspended the strike", without giving details.

The union's lawyer, Femi Falana told AFP the decision to end the protracted strike was taken late Thursday.

"The decision was taken last night. ASUU will hold a press conference in Abuja this morning to officially announce the decision."

Private universities and those owned by local state governments were not affected by the strike as membership of ASUU is voluntary.

Nigeria, a federal entity, comprises 36 states and Abuja, the administrative capital.

The latest strike was the second longest by ASUU, known for its work stoppages. In 2020, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nigerian university teachers went on strike for nine months.

The demands of the lecturers, as in previous strikes, are the same -- higher pay, improved welfare, increased funding and upgraded facilities.

Last month, a court ordered the striking teachers to resume work after several rounds of talks with the government had failed to resolve the dispute.

But early this week, ASUU leaders met with the speaker of the House of Representatives and agreed to call off the strike.