The nagging strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities continues following the inability of the federal government to meet the lecturers’ demands at Tuesday’s meeting.
Hopes were high ahead of the meeting, as many thought the FG would yield to the demands.
The strike started Feb 14 this year over copious agreements entered into by the FG with the union, which the former has not met.
Tuesday’s meeting was led by a team of the federal government, headed by Prof Nimi Briggs. The meeting held at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The PUNCH quoted an official of ASUU to have said, “The meeting with the FG’s team was headed by Professor Nimi Briggs, and it started by 12:00pm and ended by 3:00pm. There was no new offer on the table. They simply begged us to call off the strike.”
It was gathered that the lecturers left with anger after the unsuccessful deliberations.
Naijanews quoted a member of the ASUU National Executive Committee to have said, “They are not serious. I can’t go over the details with you because the president is responsible for disseminating the information. The proposal presented was unreasonable. There is no hope in sight.”
ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, told The PUNCH that, ‘‘It wasn’t good. We didn’t sign anything; they did not come with anything good. I can’t go into details. We will talk to our members first before we talk to the press. We represent our members.’’
Recall that the strike began on Feb 14, and it was a four-week warning strike. The union extended it on March 14 by another two months to enable the FG to comply with its demands. The union later extended it by 12 weeks as was announced on May 9.
Among the demands of the union is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, totalling about N1.1 trillion. The FG has however consistently said its dwindling revenues make it impossible to pay the sum. Our correspondent reports that the agreement was signed in 2009.
Another bone of contention is the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which the Buhari government has adopted in paying the lecturers.
ASUU rejected it, and opted for the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).