The Federal Government is expected to hold another emergency meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday in a bid to end the ongoing strike in public universities. The last meeting between the two parties took place on November 15. Despite the meeting lasting for six hours, the strike was not called off because no agreement was reached.
It was learnt on Sunday that today’s meeting would again focus on the issues in the 2017 Memorandum of Action, which the union claimed the Federal Government had neglected. Public universities lecturers began their strike on November 5, saying the Federal Government had failed to implement the key areas of focus contained in the MoA. From a copy of the FG/ASUU 2017 agreement obtained by our correspondent, the issues still under contention are the funding of public universities, earned academic allowances, salary shortfalls and pension matters.
The President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday, confirmed the union’s meeting with the Federal Government would take place on Monday. Ogunyemi said, “There is supposed to be a meeting tomorrow evening (Monday). It all depends on the way government approaches it. If they invite us further, we will go. It also depends on what they put on the table. We met them briefly and we agreed to meet on Monday (today). “We met with the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) on Thursday and it was a short meeting. We have given them our terms. I am not representing myself but those who have given us a clear mandate and we shall abide by the terms.”
The Federal Government’s delegation led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in their meeting with ASUU leaders on November 15 appealed to the union to consider the interest of the students and end the strike.