Ngige made the disclosure during the resumed negotiation with the leadership of ASUU on Monday.
A statement issued by the Assistant Director, Press at the ministry, Rhoda Illiya, said Buhari ordered Ngige that the three-month strike must be called off at the end of the meeting on Monday.
The university lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4, demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.
“Mr President has directed me to pass the night here until all issues that have kept our children away from school are resolved and the strike called off.
“The president has also directed me to impress upon you, the imperative of little sacrifice from all sides, knowing fully well that the revenue of the Federation has dwindled from what it was before the present administration assumed office,” Ngige said.
He said Buhari was concerned by the prevailing crisis in the university system, reason for his steady commitment to a “holistic approach to tackling the rot through adequate funding, notwithstanding the dwindling accruals.
“The president told me to assure you of his determination to reposition our universities as he would do everything possible to cast the present challenges in our tertiary education to the dustbin of history,” he added.