The striking Academic Staff Union of Universities and The Federal Government have reached a partial pact, Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, made this announcement on Monday.
According to Newsmen, Ngige made the announcement after an appeasement meeting in Abuja aimed at finding ways of resolving the industrial action which commenced on November 5. The meeting ended late on Monday.
He stated, “We have finished our discussion for today (Monday). I am happy to report that we touched some areas of understanding in implementation from the Memorandum of Action (MOA) which we agreed to in 2017.
“Some of these areas we have considerable compliance and some other areas have not been fully dealt with.
“Like the issue of shortage in salaries of some federal universities’ workers and lecturers, ASUU has presented a list to the Accountant-General’s Office and we have agreed that by Wednesday that list should be cross-checked by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Auditing.
“So, the Accountant-General’s Office is to get back to us by Wednesday 12, December”
He noted that the meeting had identified one area to look for the funds for the revival of the universities, adding that the appropriate government organ would be communicated on the issue.
The Minister said government was certain to bring good news for the striking lecturers.
“We also discussed the subject of state universities and agreed also that even if education is on the concurrent list, the universities should be properly funded and staffed so that we do not produce half-baked students from those universities.
“In realisation of this, the Ministry of Education will set up a committee that would engage the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and the Minister of Education has taken steps in that direction to formalise the interaction.”
Ngige said he wished that with the agreement reached that the union would call off the strike at the next meeting scheduled to hold on the 17th of December.
Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi, the ASUU National President, said, “Our own understanding is that we heard government made some promises; we shall await the report on all the matters and after that we can get back to our members to take a decision.”