ABUJA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) — A Nigerian court on Monday adjourned to Sept. 16 a suit filed by the federal government challenging the prolonged industrial action of university lecturers in the most populous African country.

Urging the National Industrial Court to determine the legality of the strike, the Nigerian government had sued the striking lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for affecting public universities in the country since Feb. 14. The seven-month strike by ASUU so far had demanded, among others, the renegotiation of welfare, government funding for the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, and promotion arrears. Talks between the government and the ASUU continued to yield no result, leading to the prolonged strike by the lecturers.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari last month called on the striking lecturers to reconsider their decision and return to the classroom, noting such prolonged interruption of education could undermine the nation’s development of human capital. On Sunday, the Ministry of Labor and Employment said in a statement it was requesting an order from the court for members of the lecturers’ union to resume work in their various universities while the issues in dispute are being addressed in consonance with the law.