The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU ) have reached a fresh agreement that will see striking lecturers going back to the classroom within the shortest possible time.
At a conciliatory meeting coordinated by the Minister of a Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, the government bowed to some of the union’s demands agreeing to commence immediate payment of salary shortfall to the lecturers as well as the payment of quarterly revitalisation funds to universities.
One major thing the government agreed to at the meeting was to honour the 2009 agreement it had with ASUU, by releasing the sum of N220 billion not later than October 2017, to fund the revitalization of federal universities across the country.
The meeting which started at 2:30pm on Thursday ended about 2:15 Friday morning, after discussion on several issues on ASUU demands, Vanguard reported.
After the marathon meeting between its representatives, led by ministers of education, Adamu Adamu and Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and ASSU, led by its president, Biodun Ogunyemi, it was also agreed that the union’s president will be taken to the National Executive Committee meeting of the union for consideration and subsequently return to government on the next step that would be taken.
ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, who spoke after the Minister of Labour and Employment, addressed the media at the end of the meeting, admitted that the proposals made by the government were concrete but said ASUU representatives at the meeting would take the offers made to members for consideration.
The deliberation and subsequent consideration of the proposals, he said, would be carried out within a week and the position of members taken to the government within seven days.
“We have had useful deliberations and we had some concrete proposals that we will take back to our members as part of our consultations. And like the Honourable Minister of Labour has said, we plan to come back here to take decisions as advised by our members, “he said.
Last month ASUU declared a ‘total, comprehensive and indefinite nationwide industrial action. The union blamed their decision on government’s
failure to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).