FG, ASUU agree to resolve all contentious issues to avoid strike

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) met on Wednesday and agreed to resolve all contentious issues amicably to avoid an industrial action.

The parties also decided to begin a dialogue to stop the union’s scheduled industrial activities.

The parties reportedly conducted a private meeting at the education ministry’s Abuja headquarters starting at 4:30 p.m., according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The two ministers in charge of education, Tahir Mamman and Yusuf Sununu, and other senior members of the federal government team’s ministry attended the meeting.

Following the meeting, ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, who headed the union’s delegation, informed reporters that the negotiating process had commenced and expressed the hope that the federal government will implement the agreements reached.

“We have discussions on all the issues, and we have given assignments to some people to look at and agree on the way forward.

Mr. Osodeke stated that on the union’s two-week ultimatum, they will return and provide their members with the meeting’s specifics.

“What is important is that we have started the process and our prayers are that we resolve it for the interest of our young men and the interest of the nation.

“The government has spent one year in office and we have not been called for any formal meeting. Today we are having the first formal meeting.

“There is a process we have started, and we are going to set deadlines. We are going to meet to look at what has been done on those issues, and we hope the process will continue,” he said.

Mamman pledged that talks to address the issues plaguing education would start right away.

“We’ve had a very good meeting and a very productive one. We’ve discussed progress on how to ensure that the system works well and lots of the issues we talked about are those that we inherited and some ongoing.

“We discussed them all without exception, and we have a consensus on the way forward.

“A lot of consultations will still continue on some information we don’t have, which is beyond the scope of the ministry and which will require us to connect with our colleagues in other ministries.

“But, the most important thing is that we had a very good meeting and agreed to continue with the consultations to overcome the problems bedevilling education in Nigeria,” he said.

Recall that ASUU had threatened to go on a national strike in response to the federal government’s unwillingness to accede to its demands.

The administration was given a two-week deadline by the union to fulfil all of its unfulfilled demands.

Removal from IPPIS, renegotiating the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, the entire backlog of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), and all outstanding payments are a few of the contentious concerns.

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