The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it will be meeting the Nigerian government for another round of negotiation over its ongoing strike.
The strike has lasted for about eight months as the union insists that the government must meet all of its demands before the strike would be called off.
In a tweet on Wednesday, ASUU said the meeting with the government was called by the Ministry of Labour and Employment and would be held on Friday at the minister’s conference hall.
“The Federal Government has said it will resume meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Friday. The Ministry of Labour and Employment disclosed this on Wednesday night.
“The parley is expected to address various pending issues, including the contentious payment platform preferred by the union. Recall that ASUU had opposed the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System used in settling workers’ salaries by the government and instead, developed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which is currently undergoing test-run by the National Information Technology Development Agency.
“The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union had also proposed the University General and Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System in place of the IPPIS. Their action followed the complaints against the IPPIS, which allegedly caused salary delays and shortchanged the university workers.
“The Ministry of Labour and Employment spokesman, Charles Akpan, disclosed in a text message on Wednesday that the dialogue with the ASUU leaders would be held at the minister’s conference hall.”
ASUU also revealed that the government has agreed to pay N30 billion earned academic allowance and N20 billion for the revitalisation of the education sector and the arrears of salaries to the university teachers, adding that “the only outstanding issue was the disagreement over the payment platform.”
Despite the commitment, ASUU insisted that the government had not met its demands, noting that the resolution of the eight-month strike was not in sight.
Nigerian activists and pressure groups have called on the students to embark on a protest to force the government to meet the demands of the university unions.
Also, the Education Right Campaign has asked Nigerian parents and students to prepare for a nationwide protest over the ongoing strike.
The group urged Nigerian students and parents not to allow themselves to be fooled by the Minister of Labour, rather, students should begin earnest preparation for peaceful nationwide protests and demonstrations to compel the federal government to meet the demands of ASUU, SSANU, NASU, and NAAT so that the universities could be reopened for academic activities.
“Nigerian students have suffered too much already, but the antics of the Federal Government shows the Buhari APC capitalist regime does not care. Hence the need for mass protests and demonstrations to kick off nationwide to send a note of warning to that students can no longer tolerate the delay and closure,” the group said.
SaharaReporters, New York