The federal government of Nigeria will today meet with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to negotiate ways of resolving the ongoing national strike by the lecturers.
A statement from Deputy Director (Press), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere, on Monday night, said the government delegation at the meeting would include the ministers of Education and Finance, Chairman, National Income Salaries and Wages Commission, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission and the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress.
While the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be representing the government, the ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, is expected to lead a delegation of lecturers to the meeting scheduled for noon in Abuja.
The union leaders will be briefing the government delegation on the resolutions reached on the offers made by the Federal Government during the last meeting held on August 17, 2017.
“Senator Ngige calls on ASUU to show good faith as the Federal Government had already demonstrated commitment to addressing the grievances of the union,” the statement noted.
ASUU, an umbrella body of all university lecturers in the country, is currently on strike over the federal government’s failure to fulfil its 2009/2013 agreement with the union.
The union embarked on the strike on August 13 over issues of poor funding, welfare of its members and the failure of the federal government to honour aspects of past agreements it had with its members.
The leadership of the union met on Friday, August 25, at the National Executive Council meeting, with the aim to determine the direction of the ongoing national strike.
In the meeting, all the branches were told to submit their respective reports to the national body who will take a final decision.
Specifically, the national branches were given three options by the national body to choose from at their deliberations, which are: to continue with the strike action, suspend the action or, ‘positively review the federal government proposal.’
In a related development, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academic Staff Union and National Association of Academic Technologists held a ‘referendum’ throughout the country on Monday to decide their fate and also the possibility of an indefinite strike action.
The unions are accusing the federal government of negotiating with ASUU alone despite their own welfare demands which have been pending over the years.
They are expected to meet again on Wednesday at the NASU Secretariat in Abuja.