ASUU has denied plans to call off the eight-month-long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Last night, social media announced that the academic union had concluded plans to call off the strike after meeting with the government negotiating team headed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labor and Jobs, on Friday 27 November.
The Federal Government had a meeting with the union in the Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Conference Hall, where it reportedly increased its offer to university-based unions for EA Received Allowances and funding for the revitalization of public universities from N65 billion to N70 billion.
Last night, reports reported that after the Federal Government agreed to pay N40 billion for received allowances and N30 billion for the revitalization of the university system, the union will call off the strike, raising the total payment to N70 billion.
It was also announced that the Government decided to resolve the salary arrears of the aggrieved lecturers before 31 December. The report also stated that ASUU was required to report the agreement to its organs and then communicate its decision to the government after which the date of the strike will be declared.
However in a conversation with Vanguard, the president of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, denied knowledge of any agreement to call off the strike, stressing that it was only decided at the meeting that the union should give a government message to its organs and return to the government.
“I don’t know about that. All I know is that we’ve had a meeting and we’re going to report back to our representatives. But I don’t know about the termination of the strike.” Ogunyemi said.
After the meeting, Minister of Jobs, Chris Ngige, said that he was confident that all the issues relevant to the strike would be resolved at his next meeting with the ASUU.
“Many topics were raised at the conference, including the lack of pay, the payment structure and the revitalisation of the university system. I am confident that all the problems will be addressed at our next meeting.” Ngige said.