ASUU strike continues as Buhari regime fails to accede lecturers’ demands
A meeting of a federal government committee and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has failed to achieve a truce, foreclosing hopes of a resolution of the industrial stalemate in the short order.
On Tuesday, the federal government panel, led by Nimi Briggs failed to convince the striking lecturers to suspend the six-month-old industrial action on the promise that their demands will be captured in the 2023 budget, per a Channels TV’s report.
A top ASUU operative told the broadcaster that the three-hour meeting which began at about noon on Tuesday at the National Universities Commission ended without any commitment to resolving the issue by either parties.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over issues of poor funding of universities, poor welfare conditions, failure to renegotiate earlier agreements signed, and failure to adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment system.
Earlier, ASUU president Emmanuel Osodeke, during an interview with Channels TV on Monday, said the federal government would be meeting the representatives of ASUU for the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement on Tuesday.
He said the federal government has finally agreed to the union’s payment platform UTAS as against the IPPIS payment system.
Mr Osodeke accused the federal government of deliberately prolonging the strike and resisted the effort of the union to reach an agreement.
“We have not had any serious communication though they have invited us for a meeting on one issue, tomorrow (Tuesday), which is the issue of renegotiation,” he said in love programme on Monday.
“You know that there are seven issues why we are on strike. They are inviting us for discussion on the issue of renegotiation, tomorrow, which is renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
“The issues of IPPIS and UTAS have been put to rest because the test has been done and it has been agreed with the chief of staff, UTAS will be implemented to cover the university.”
The ASUU president alleged that the federal government was not serious about ending the strike.
“If you recall we were supposed to go on strike in November, we didn’t start it because NIREC came in and intervened. We conceded to them.
‘’They met with the president, he set up a committee headed by the chief of staff that should resolve this quickly, the world saw it in the press, they did nothing. The president set up the Munzali committee, we met them, nothing, they didn’t come back.
“They set up the Nimi Briggs committee, it’s now been more than three months, two months we finished negotiating with them, they didn’t come back. The president directed the Ministry of Education to finish within two weeks, two weeks has passed, they didn’t come back.
“If we go into that meeting tomorrow and the government says what we have negotiated, we are willing to sign, the strike will be called off,” Mr Osodeke said.
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