The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it will not shift ground until its demands are met by the federal government.

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Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, also disclosed that only the federal government can end the one-month strike the union embarked upon on February 14.

The federal government met with the leadership of the union on Tuesday to deliberate on ways to end the industrial action.

Speaking at the meeting with the leadership of ASUU, Chris Ngige, the labour and employment minister, said the government would do “everything possible” to resolve the strike.

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He also assured Nigerians that the strike would soon be called off.

ASUU has been in a tussle with the federal government over unmet demands.

The union had lamented the government’s failure to fulfill some of the agreements it reached with varsity lecturers to suspend its last strike in 2020.

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ASUU had also argued that the strike followed the government’s attitude towards the renegotiation of salaries and allowances as well as the adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) payroll software.

At the meeting, Osodeke blamed the government for the current strike, alleging that apart from not implementing the 2020 MoA it signed, the government failed to convene the regular implementation monitoring meeting as agreed.

The ASUU leader insisted that the union’s members were determined not to shift ground until their demands were met.

Responding to ASUU president’s statement, Ngige said he was “taken aback by the renewed strike”.

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The minister also said the government was surprised that ASUU negated the assurances it gave through the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

“From this negotiation, we are having today, ASUU will appreciate that the government means no harm,” he added.

“This is because even if there are still lapses in implementation of the agreement, they are not such that will lead to industrial action. To that extent, we have to do everything possible to resolve this.

“So, the government side is taken by surprise—the ministry of education, the ministry of finance and all—are taken aback.”

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The meeting went into a closed-door session at 6:30 pm.

TheCable earlier carried out an extensive investigation on the dilapidation and rot in Nigeria’s public universities.



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