The federal government has fixed a new date for the inconclusive negotiations with the Academic staff union of universities(ASUU) in a bid to end the ongoing strike which has made students of public universities to remain at home for over 9months.
Recall that the federal government was expected to meet the leadership of ASUU on Wednesday to continue their negotiations, DAILY GIST however gathered that the meeting was postponed according to the Director, Press and Public Relations, of the Labour ministry, Charles Akpan.
Akpan disclosed that the meeting has been rescheduled to hold on Monday, December, 14, 2020.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, had accused ASUU leadership of failing to fullfil their promises, adding further that the union agreed to call off the strike on December 9. at their last meeting.
”The truth of the matter is that a ‘gentleman agreement’ was reached at the last meeting in which ASUU agreed to call off the strike before December 9, 2020, and the minister, in turn, agreed that once the strike is called off, he would get a presidential waiver for ASUU to be paid the remainder of their salaries on or before December 9,” Ngige stated.
Responding to Ngige claim, The ASUU President, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi had also released a statement accusing the federal government of failing to deliver on offers made to the union.
In a statement which he made available to Journalists, He said; “The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been inundated with enquiries on why the ongoing strike action has not been suspended. This was sequel to the widely reported claims by some government agents that all the demands of ASUU have been met and that the union agreed to suspend the strike action today, 9th December 2020. Nothing can be farther from the truth!
Ogunyemi revealed that the union is still consulting with it’s organs on the new offers the federal government has made
He said ASUU leadership do not have the powers to suspend the ongoing strike but must follow due process which includes transmitting the outcome of negotiations to members and National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU for further deliberations and actions.
He however insists that the union will not suspend the ongoing strike until the federal government pay thier withheld salaries, stressing further that lecturers can’t resume to class or work on empty stomach.