ASUU Strike: Meeting With FG, ASUU Ends in Deadlock

Academic Staff Union of Universities

On Thursday, a meeting was called by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Agboola Gambari, and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to discuss the ongoing ASUU strike.

The Federal Government and the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council on Thursday failed to convince the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off their industrial action.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, and the Christian Association of Nigeria’s president, Dr. Supo Ayokunle, were also co-chairs of the meeting. They could not persuade the ASUU leaders to return to the classrooms while negotiations were ongoing to meet their demands.

The federal government and NIREC attempted to persuade the union to return to the classrooms. They promised ASUU that their demands would be met. The ASUU leadership reportedly said the government had to meet part of their demands which they could use in convincing their members to call off the ongoing strike.

The meeting, which was held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was attended by other registered trade unions in universities, as well as identified interest groups and civil society groups.

But providing an update on the meeting, Ngige said that the Federal Government had reached an agreement with the union, adding that certain timelines had been set and that specific parts of the agreements would be implemented from next week.

He stated,

“We have reached some agreements and we hope that by next week, those agreements will be maturing and the different unions will have something to tell their members so that they can call off the strike.

“We have put some timelines for some aspects like the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement in terms of the condition of service and wage review. So, we are hopeful that by next weekend, the unions will see a conclusion in that area.”

Speaking earlier, Gambari admonished the university-based unions to put the interest of students in focus, noting that resources are not finite.

ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osedeke, said that NIREC had intervened in the issues last November. He mentioned that the Sultan and CAN leader met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari who set up a three-man committee that met with the union for the first time on Thursday.

He stated,

“Why our people are worried is this: even when we had gone on strike for 12 weeks, that committee is meeting with us for the first time today. Suppose we didn’t go on strike, it’s going to take three years. That is the problem we are having in the system. I believe these problems can be resolved within three days if the will is there on both sides.”

ASUU had, on Monday, extended its roll-over strike which started on February 14 by another 12 weeks.

Its demands include the funding for the revitalization of public universities, the Earned Academic Allowances, the University Transparency Accountability Solution, and promotion arrears.

Others are the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement and the inconsistency in the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System.

Author: Newstopz400

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *