A meeting between the Federal government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU ended in a deadlock on Tuesday August 16, with no end in sight to the lingering strike by the academic union.
The striking lecturers met with the Professor Nimi Briggs committee today for about three hours at the National University Commission in Abuja in a bid to resolve the issues that led to the six-month and counting strike.
According to the striking lecturers who attended the meeting, the Federal government delegation did not come with any new offer to the table except to beg the lecturers to call off the strike with promises that their demands will be included in the 2023 budget.
Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), says the union has reached an agreement with the government to adopt the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as the payment platform of lecturers.
While disclosing this during an interview with Channels Television, Osodeke said the federal government invited ASUU for a meeting on Tuesday on the issue of renegotiation to call off the ongoing strike action.
According to him, ASUU will suspend the strike if the federal government agrees to its demands at the meeting.
He said, “We have not had any serious communication though they have invited us for a meeting on one issue, tomorrow (referring to Tuesday), which is the issue of renegotiation.
“You know that there are seven issues why we are on strike. They are inviting us for discussion on the issue of renegotiation, tomorrow, which is renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
“The issues of IPPIS and UTAS has been put to rest because the test has been done and it has been agreed with the chief of staff, UTAS will be implemented to cover the university.
“Two, if this government is serious, this strike will not last more than two weeks. If you recall we were supposed to go on strike in November, we didn’t start it because NIREC came in and intervened. We conceded to them.
“They met with the president, he set up a committee headed by the chief of staff that should resolve this quickly, the world saw it in the press, they did nothing. The president set up the Munzali committee, we met them , nothing, they didn’t come back.
“They set up the Nimi Briggs committee, it’s now been more than three months, two months we finished negotiating with them, they didn’t come back. The president directed the Ministry of Education to finish within two weeks, two weeks has passed, they didn’t come back.
“If we go into that meeting tomorrow and the government says what we have negotiated, we are willing to sign, the strike will be called off.”
ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government. As of Tuesday, the strike embarked by ASUU has entered 183 days
Some of the lecturers’ demands include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, payment of earned academic allowances, and adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option, instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and payment of promotion arrears.