Strike Called Off? Details Of FG’s Meeting With ASUU Finally Emerge

The meeting between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government on Tuesday, August 16, has again ended without an agreement.

This implies that the six-month-old strike by public university lecturers is set to continue.

According to Channels TV, the union on Tuesday met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee at the National University Commission (NUC) in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.

What happened at the meeting – ASUU member

A senior member of ASUU whose name was not revealed was cited as saying that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee did not come with any new offer on the table.

The ASUU source said the committee instead pleaded with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.

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According to the source, the meeting, which started at about 12pm, lasted for about three hours without any agreement reached.

ASUU strike: What lecturers want from FG

Recall that ASUU had embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14. In March, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands.

In May, the lecturers’ union also announced a 12-week extension. Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met.

The academics are seeking:

  • Improved welfare
  • Revitalisation of public universities
  • UTAS payment platform in place of IPPIS
  • Academic autonomy, among other demands.
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One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.

The federal government, however, said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The agreement was struck in 2009.

Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The lecturers have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

ASUU strike: Lawyer begs Dangote, Otedola to pay lecturers

  • Meanwhile, a lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has appealed to chief executive officers of banks and billionaire businessmen including Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Abdul Samad Rabiu, and Mike Adenuga to pay off the N1.1 trillion demands by ASUU.
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The legal practitioner said the federal government has displayed irresponsibility and nonchalance in resolving the lingering ASUU strike since February 14, 2022.

Olajengbesi, therefore, urged the businessmen to rise to the occasion just as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic when their financial intervention contributed immensely to Nigeria’s fight against the dreaded disease.

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