Nigeria: Govt, ASUU to Continue Negotiations Today

Photo: Vanguard
7 February 2019

In a bid to resolve the ongoing strike embarked on by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, will hold another conciliatory meeting with the leadership of the union on Thursday.

The lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4, 2018, demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.

The conciliatory meeting is scheduled to hold at the federal ministry of labour and employment.

The meeting is scheduled for 3:30pm.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the meeting between the federal government and leaders of the ASUU, on Friday, ended without a resolution of the strike.

The meeting was then adjourned to February 7.

Prior to last Friday's meeting, at least eight other meetings held between both parties.

Speaking with journalists on Friday, the national president of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union will not share the outcome of the meeting with journalists until he communicates with his members.

According to him, "We have another set of information for our members and we will like to hear from them before saying anything."

Mr Ngige, however, claimed all the demands of the unions have been met.

"But we will offer something reasonable which they are taking back to their members," he said.

Although both parties refused to give any specific details of what was discussed in the meeting, Thursday's meeting will shed more light on the position of the union on the strike.

A major issue dragging the negotiations forth and back is the "revitalisation" of the universities.

At present, the government is yet to release 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 Goodluck Jonathan government released N200 billion in 2013. Since then, no major bulk sum has been released.

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