16 November 2018

Nigeria: Govt, ASUU Meeting Ends in Deadlock

Photo: Vanguard
ASUU strike.

Abuja — Attempt by the federal government to pressure striking university lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike yesterday failed to yield positive result as the scheduled meeting between the two parties ended in a deadlock.

Both parties, however, reached an agreement to continue the talks next week.

ASUU national president, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi, who spoke briefly to the press shortly after the meeting which started by 3:16pm and ended by 8:19pm, said the strike is ongoing and has not been called off as the union's demands are yet to be met.

He said, "We have just started the discussions, we have not really gone far. So what we have done today is just to open up the issues. So the strike still continues. We have not fixed a date for the next meeting but by tomorrow, we should know."

It would be recalled that the union which commenced strike on November 5, has remained resolute despite federal government's offer of the release of N20 billion as part payment of its demands.

The lecturers described the proposal as a paltry sum, incapable of solving the myriad challenges of the nations public tertiary institutions, and is neither enough to settle their demands in terms of renumeration and others.

Prof Ogunyemi while reacting to the claims of the federal government over the on going strike before the commencement of the meeting, said universities in Nigeria have been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonisation under alleged democracy, with claims that this has further retrogressed the economy in all spheres.

He further reiterated that the strike is total, comprehensive and indefinite as members have withdrawn their services until government fully implements all outstanding issues as contained in the MoU of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.

Ogunyemi said "This strike is total, comprehensive and indefinite. Our members shall withdraw their services until government fully implement all outstanding issues as contained in the MOA of 2017, and concludes the renegotiation of the 2009 agreements.

"We have been subjected to 20 years of continued re-colonization under alleged democracy in which all that the ruling circle have been regrouping among themselves in their various faction they called political parties."

The meeting had in attendance, the minister of labour and employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the past president of ASUU, Dr. Isa Fagge, permanent secretaries of education and labour, Arc. Sonny Echonu and Mrs. Ibukun Odusote respectively and other members of the federal government and ASUU delegation.

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