ASUU and FG resumes negotiations on strike action

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will hold another conciliatory meeting on Thursday 7th February in a bid to resolve the ongoing strike embarked on by the Union.

The meeting is geared towards resolving the dispute between the union and the federal government which had resulted to an indefinite strike action on November 4, 2018. The union are demanding improved funding for the universities and the implementation of agreements they previously have with the government. The conciliatory meeting is scheduled for 3:30pm at the federal ministry of labour and employment.

A similar meeting of this magnitude was held last week’s Friday between the federal government and leaders of the ASUU, but the meeting ended without a resolution of the strike and the meeting was adjourned to 7th February, 2019. The meeting slated for today is the 10th meeting between the federal government and the union since they embarked on the strike action.

The progress made by the different meetings by the two parties is not available to the general public as the national president of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, refused to brief the public on the development so far as he said when approached by journalist he said that the union will not share the outcome of the meetings with journalists until he communicates with his members.

Biodun Ogunyemi stated that they have another set of information for their members and we will like to hear from them before saying anything speaking to the public. Mr Ngige, however, claimed all the demands of the unions have been met. He added that the government will be offering something reasonable which ASUU is taking back to their members.

The scanty information given by the different parties involved in the negotiations without  giving any specific details on what was discussed in the meeting has made it necessary for everyone to wait for the outcome of Thursday’s meeting to see if at the end of the meeting there will be some information on the position of the union on the strike. The most contentious issue highlighted in the negotiation is hinged on revitalisation of the universities.

At the point of this report, the government has not released the N1.1 trillion it agreed to release as part of the funds for the project. The 2013 MoU stipulated that public universities need N1.3 trillion for ‘a modest revitalisation’. The fund was to be released in tranches of N200 billion in 2013; N220 billion 2014; N220 billion 2015; 220 billion in 2016; N220 billion in 2017 and N220 billion in 2018.

The proposed funds en-marked for the revitalization of the vitalisation has not been released except for N200 billion which was released in 2013 by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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