By Chux Odoh
A meeting by the Federal Government and leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which held on Monday, January 21, 2019, to address the ongoing strike action ended again without reaching a resolution.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting which lasted about four hours, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who presided over the meeting at the Federal Ministry of Labour headquarters said both parties will reconvene on a new date at the instance of the union, Premium Times reports.
Ngige also informed journalist after the meeting that the aggregate amount the lecturers are asking for exceeds the N50 billion ASUU demanded.
”If you aggregate the total amount of money involved, it is beyond N50 billion. We are paying in several compartments and these are debt from 2009 to 2012. We have started defraying the earned allowances there and released N15.4 billion for shortfall in the payment of salaries,”
Ngige said the government has released N163 billion from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) to satisfy some of the demands of ASUU.
”Today we have agreed to fund revitalization. Government has released from TETFUND account about N163 billion. The meeting will reconvene at the instance of ASUU. FG is not weak in the negotiation. The strike is not slipping out of our hands,” he said.
”We did not take a long time than we anticipated. We have other commitments but the important thing is that we have made substantial progress. We have reached some agreements in seven areas,” Ngige said.
However, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) Prof Biodun Ogunyemi has informed that the will strike continues and ASUU needed to discuss with its members at the different chapters nationwide for further consultations.
”We have not suspended the strike, discussion will continue at a later date. We are going back to our members for further consultation.”
The ongoing strike began at midnight, November 4, 2018, after the ASUU NEC meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure and since then, both the union and the Federal Government have failed to resolve their issues.
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