The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, says the lingering strike action of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), might soon come to an end as the leadership of the union and the Federal government have reached a partial agreement.
Recall that the academic union began their strike action on November 5th to demand better funding for the Education sector.
Speaking after a reconciliation meeting with the union yesterday December 10th, the Minister told newsmen that the strike would soon be called off as efforts are being made to meet the demands of the union.
“We have finished our deliberation. I am happy to report that we touched some areas of understanding in implementation from the memorandum of action which we agreed to in 2017. Some of these areas we have substantial compliance and some other areas have not been fully dealt with. Like the issue of shortfall in salaries of some federal universities’ workers and lecturers, ASUU has given a list to the accountant-general’s office and we have agreed that by Wednesday that list should be cross-checked by the presidential initiative on continuous auditing. So, the accountant-general’s office is to get back to us by Wednesday.
“We also have the issue of earned allowances, revitalisation, these are issues of 2009 agreement and partial implementation and we have agreed on the modus operandi to look into the fund situation, this is due to low revenue on the part of government.
We have agreed on what we are going to do to make sure that the outstanding amount is handled in a way that all parties will be properly accommodated. We also discussed the issue of state universities and agreed also that even if education is on the concurrent list, the universities should be properly funded and staffed so that we do not produce half-baked students from those universities. In realisation of this, the ministry of education will set up a committee, that would engage the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and the minister of education has taken steps in that direction to formalise the interaction. Thus discussion are fruitful and we do hope that in the next adjourned date we would have had the requisite result on the few agreements reached today.” he said
Also speaking to newsmen, the National president of ASUU, Abiodun Ogunyemi, said
“Our own understanding is that we heard promises made on the part of government, we shall await the report on all the issues, which they have made the promises. Only after that, we can get back to our members to take a decision.”