ASUU Absent at proposed meeting with FG

Members of the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU) on Tuesday, were absent at
a meeting called at the instance of the Federal
Government over the lingering industrial
action in universities.

Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and
Employment had called for a meeting in Abuja
with ASUU leaders, Minister of Education,
among others on the effort at revolving the
lingering strike embarked by the union.
It would be recalled that members of ASUU
embarked on an indefinite strike on August 13,
following government’s failure to implement
the agreement reached in Nov. 2016.
ASUU, on Aug. 17, had met with the officials of
the Ministry of Education and Labour and
Employment where it was agreed that the
union should consult and revert back to
government within a week.

ASUU demands include the disputed
registration of the Nigerian Universities
Pension Management Company,
fractionalisation of salaries in Federal
Universities, gross under-funding and non-
funding of State Universities.
Others are arrears and implementation of
Earned Academic Allowances, the release of
fund for the revitalisation of public
universities as spit out in the 2013
Memorandum of Understanding, among others.
According to Ngige, “today we are supposed to
have a formal meeting with the Minister of
Education and other stakeholders in the
government side and ASUU.

“But we had some new development, which
made it mandatory, that we roll over this
meeting to the next day.
“Because the government as you know on Aug.
18 gave ASUU an offer, through the Ministry of
Education and yesterday when ASUU got back
to us, which was late, the meeting has already
been scheduled.
“ASUU had gotten back to the government to
say that they needed us to deliberate on their
counter offer before we can have a formalised
meeting,” he said.

The minister said that with the new
development, government acceded to it by
calling for a meeting with stakeholders in the
government side on their offer.
He noted that it was only after the meeting
that government and the union would then
have a reconciliatory meeting to further
discuss the areas of disagreements or the
union’s new demand.
“That is the position we are now and as I
speak, we are having a government side
meeting that is being held in my office while
the Minister of Education is at another point
having a meeting.
“We will reconcile into a full government
meeting by 3 pm today and then formalised our
position and look at the ASUU request.
“Then, tomorrow is FEC meeting and we also
need council approval for some of the things
we are doing

“This is what government has decided,
thereafter we would speak with ASUU either
tomorrow or Thursday whichever is
convenient to both parties, ‘’he said.
Also, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU president in a
signed statement said the union had collated
the views of its members submitted to the
government on August 28.

“As we await the Federal Government’s action
on our letter, we hope that it would not be
long before we receive a positive response
which will bring an end to the dispute.’’

Ogunyemi called on the government on the
need to speedily address the issues in the best
interest of the Nigerian University System and
for the overall development of the country.
He commended Nigerians, especially the
students and parents for their understanding. 

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