Leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that there is no going back on its ongoing nationwide strike.
The union stated this despite meeting with the Federal Government on Monday in Abuja to resolve the issues raised by the lecturers which led to the industrial action in the universities that has lasted over two months.
The meeting reconvened by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, with the leaders of the union led by ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, failed to bring an end to the strike as the issues could not be resolved.
The striking lecturers insisted that the Federal Government must show a strong commitment to funding and revitalisation of universities before they would suspend the industrial action.
Professor Ogunyemi told reporters at the end of the meeting which lasted over four hours that the issue of universities revitalisation was very important to the union that it cannot suspend the industrial action if left untouched.
“The most critical of all is revitalisation,” he said. “Revitalisation is central to our work as academics and unless that area is addressed, members will have issues with ongoing action.”
The ASUU President added, “They gave us their response to our proposals, there were still grey areas that we are trying to sort out. So, when we finish those areas, you will know the full outcome.”
On his part, the minister was hopeful that the union would suspend the strike soon.
According to him, the government has demonstrated commitment by way of disbursing money through the Tertiary Education Trust (TET) fund to revitalise public universities.
“We have started defraying the end allowances there, we have also released N15.4 billion for the shortfall in payment of salaries, and we have also agreed today to fund revitalisation,” Ngige told reporters.
“We are going to expend some money there; this is irrespective of the fact that government has released from the TETfund account about N163 billion.”
The minister added that the meeting would reconvene at the instance of ASUU which said it needed to consult its members before taking the next step.
The union went on strike in November 2018 following the alleged inability of the government to address its demands.
It had also raised concerns over the poor funding of Nigerian Universities, the alleged plot to increase students’ fees, introduction of an education bank, as well as non-implementation of previous agreements, among other issues.