The Federal Government has resumed negotiation with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday over the lingering eight-month-old strike by the union. The union embarked on a nationwide industrial action on March 23 to demand “revitalisation allowance”, earned academic allowances, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, visitation panels, among other demands. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, presiding over their latest meeting in Abuja. In his opening remarks, the minister explained that the meeting should have reconvened before now but had to wait for inputs from all the ministries involved, as well as from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It was not easy for us to get the necessary things, we just finished the last consultations two days ago,” he told the striking lecturers and others present at the meeting,” the minister said.
Ngige further appealed to the lecturers that the meeting should have an even and productive outcome that would lead to the resumption of academic activities.
The President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, while making his comment stated that the issue of withheld salaries of members should be first item on the agenda of Friday’s discussion.
After both parties’ remarks, the meeting went into a technical session.
During the last meeting held in October, Ngige said the Federal Government would present its last position on the strike to the lecturers at the next (Friday’s) meeting.
Both FG and ASUU however failed to reach a compromise over issues bordering on the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) payment platform, as well as unpaid earned allowances for lecturers and funds for university revitalisation, among others.