Strike: FG, ASUU Shifts Meeting To Tomorrow, Monday

The federal government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will meet tomorrow (Monday) to iron out issues relating to the allegations raised by the lecturers regarding the non-implementation of their agreement with the government last December.

The union had last week threatened to resume the industrial action it suspended since December 2020 over the federal government’s alleged failure to honour many of the agreements it signed with the lecturers.

ASUU’s chairman at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, made the threat, while speaking with select journalists at the union’s secretariat.

He said the protracted strike, which was to press home their demands for the continuous survival of public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items.

Inuwa disclosed that over seven months after the MoU was signed, only two out of the eight issues were addressed.

He listed some of the pending issues to include Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), funding for the revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and Visitation Panel.

Others, according to him, include: Renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of Check-off Dues.

He lamented that only salary shortfall and visitation panels to federal universities were addressed.

But according to a statement issued yesterday by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, the minister, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s conference room, federal Secretariat in Abuja.

Akpan said: “The Minister for Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room”.

A key agenda of the meeting is the implementation of the agreement entered into with ASUU by the federal government.

ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodake had earlier told THISDAY that the union had been summoned to a meeting with Ngige on Friday.

But the meeting was apparently shifted to Monday to enable members of the government team to be ready.

He said: “We have met with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and promised to reach out to us. He has called us for a meeting on Friday.

Osodake said that the union had not issued any strike threat but that what it did was to put the federal government on notice for it to ensure the implementation of the agreement signed with the union before the National Executive Committee meeting of the union this month.

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