The federal government on Monday resumed talks with the leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with both sides expressing hope of an agreement that would bring an end to the ongoing strike in public universities.
Lecturers at the universities went on strike on November 4 last year, demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.
The National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, led the union’s delegation to Monday’s meeting.
The ASUU delegation arrived at the ministry at exactly 4:30 p.m on Monday.
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When the FG delegation arrived, they were led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in the absence of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu. Also in attendance were the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education, Sunny Echono; the national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba; and officials from the National Universities Commission, Head of Service and Salaries, Wages and Income commission.
While declaring the meeting started, Mr Ngige expressed optimism that the outcome of the meeting will be fruitful, as the Government has done a lot of work since the last meeting in 2018, saying that his hope is for students to return to the classroom as soon as possible, pointing out that non of his children are schooling abroad.
FG has reached an agreement with ASUU to release N15.4bn for salary shortfall. Mr Ngige also pointed out that FG is also in the process of releasing another N20 billion for payment of earned allowances for university lecturers.
The ASUU President on his own part says he will take the new Government propositions to members of the Union, and only then will the decision to either call the strike or continue with it, will be reached.
No date was announced by the ASUU President on when the meeting with the Union Leadership will be held.