In an apparent move to avert another round of industrial action, the Federal Government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will meet on Monday August 2, 2021.
The meeting is to iron out issues relating to the allegations raised by the lecturers regarding the non-implementation of their agreement with the government last December.
The disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Charles Akpan, on Saturday, July 31, 2021.
Akpan said that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s conference room, the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
He said, “The Minister for Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room.’’
According to Thisday, a key agenda of the meeting is the implementation of the agreement entered into with ASUU by the federal government.
The new date for the meeting was fixed after an earlier one which was scheduled to hold on Friday, July 30, was shifted so as to enable members of the government team to be prepared.
The ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodake, said that the leadership of the union have met with Ngige, who had promised to reach out to them and call for a meeting.
Osodake said that the union had not issued any strike threat but that what it did was to put the federal government on notice for it to ensure the implementation of the agreement signed with the union before the National Executive Committee meeting of the union this month.
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It can be recalled that last week, ASUU threatened to resume strike it suspended since December 2020 over the federal government’s alleged failure to honour many of the agreements it signed with the lecturers.
ASUU’s chairman at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, who made the threat, while speaking with select journalists at the union’s secretariat, said the protracted strike, which was to press home their demands for the continuous survival of public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items.
He, however, said that only 2 out of the 8 issues have been resolved since the MoU was signed 7 months ago.
Inuwa listed some of the pending issues to include Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), funding for the revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and Visitation Panel.
Others, according to him, include Renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of Check-off Dues.
He lamented that only salary shortfall and visitation panels to federal universities were addressed.