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ASUU: strike continues as federal government, union fail to reach agreement

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The ongoing nationwide industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) continues Wednesday.

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This is as a result of the latest meeting between the Federal Government and leaders of the union which ended without any agreement on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, presided over the meeting which held at the Ministry of Education and lasted over four hours.

National President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, and leaders of the union were in attendance.

This comes one week after both parties failed to reach an agreement at the meeting held on Monday, November 26.

Aside from the education minister, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Sunny Echono; representatives of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and that of the National Income, Wages and Salaries Commission, were part of the Federal Government delegation at the meeting.

ASUU commenced the nationwide strike in early November to protest the poor funding of Nigerian Universities, following a meeting of its national leadership at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The union had also accused the Federal Government of planning to increase students’ fees and introduce an education bank, as well as non-implementation of previous agreements.

A day after the union announced the strike, Professor Ogunyemi accused the government of making cheap promises, saying their members would not be swayed by such.

“We have concluded that promises from the government are very cheap. We are not bothered about what promises the government makes now,” he had said during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

Reacting to the development hours later, the government through the minister appealed to the union to call off the ongoing strike.

“As the Minister of Education, I feel your pain; I share your concern and I am willing to go to any mile so that together we can change the narrative of this country for the better,” Mr Adamu had said at a news conference.

He added, “I want to use this opportunity to appeal to ASUU to put off this strike in the name of the country, and in view of what the situation is. Come, let us continue the talk; it is something that we have already started.

“And I am optimistic that dialogue will produce better results. For us to negotiate under the pressure of strike, we will end up producing the kind of agreement we had in 2009, which almost all stakeholders have agreed is not easily implementable.”

A meeting was subsequently convened on November 15 to address the issues raised by the union.

It, however, ended in a deadlock.


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