14 September 2017

Nigeria: ASUU Leaders Meet Today to Take Definite Position On Strike

The striking university teachers, ASUU, will today, Thursday, declare their position on the offer made to them by the Federal Government towards ending their strike.

The National Executive Council of the union will meet in Abuja to collate the respective positions of their numerous branches.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered on Wednesday that some universities lecturers voted to suspend the nationwide strike while some want the strike to continue. The NEC will collate the views of all the branches to arrive at a decision at today's meeting.

The union has presented seven demands to the federal government to which the government responded with new offers last Friday.

PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported the new offers by the federal government to the lecturers.

The government through the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, said it would make funds available in September and October to back earlier agreements and to show its good faith.

In respect of a 2009 MoU which non-implementation is at the core of the grievances of ASUU, Mr. Ngige said government proposed a seven-man committee with the union to work out a framework for the implementation.

Mr. Ngige further said payments of earned allowances of the teachers had started as at the time of the meeting, while a pathway was proposed for registration of a universities' pension management company, another demand of the teachers.

The issues the union have consistently raised are the 2009 agreement and 2013 agreement which include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, registration of Nigerian universities pension management company and pension matters, university staff school, fractionalisation and non-payment of salaries among others.

It would be recalled that at the end of the meeting last week Friday, the negotiating team of ASUU had asked for one week to submit the proposal by the government to its members during the NEC.

Biodun Ogunyemi, the national president of the union, told journalist in the early hours of Friday that the union will come back after one week to take its final decisions.

"Now we have some concrete proposals that we will take back to our members for consideration, " he said.

PREMIUM TIMES had earlier reported how branches held congresses on Wednesday with varying decisions on the government offer.

The ASUU NEC meeting usually follows branches' meetings and consultations.

The Union began its nationwide strike on August 13. Despite assurances by the government that the crisis would be resolved within one week, it has lingered for a month.


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