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ASUU May End Strike Soon - Report

After almost eight hours of an intensive closed-door meeting on Tuesday, both the Nigerian government team and the leadership of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) emerged at about 11 p.m. with an indication of possible resolution of the areas of conflict between the two parties.

The president of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, declined elaborate comments on their conclusions but said his team would report to the members on the government’s proposals and later revert to the government.

But the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said both parties agreed on a lot of things, and that ASUU was expected to “talk to its members, show them the proposal that has been offered by the government so that they can call off the strike”.

Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and revitalisation funds for universities were the two items on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

Timelines set

Mr Ngige said although most of ASUU’s demands are being dealt with, the remaining areas are also being addressed.

“Like I told you the last time, a lot of the items have been dealt with extensively and some of them are works in progress,” he said.

The minister said one of the areas remaining is the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement, noting that the ministry of education has set up a committee to look into the submitted report of the Munzali Jibril-led renegotiation committee.

Mr Munzali, a professor, took over the negotiation following the resignation of the former chairman of the governing council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Wale Babalakin, as the head of the government team.

He said it is important that allowances requested by ASUU are in tandem with the structure available at the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

In six weeks, he said, the committee at the ministry of education “will round off everything and send all”.


He said: “So, today, the ministry of education has set up an internal committee in their ministry to look at the product of Prof Munzali’s committee’s work. Again, prof Munzali’s committee has been defunct because a lot of people including Munzali are no longer pro chancellors.

“A new team has been set up because they needed to have a second look at that document and make sure, with ASUU’s contribution, that some of the allowances are not against the NSIWC’s fixed salaries and allowances.

“If you do that and propose it to the government, it will not be accepted. So, it is important that they work well. So that whatever they present can be approved by the federal executive council.”

The minister said within six weeks, the committee set up at the education ministry will wrap up everything and send all. “So, that is the only new area.”


The minister also said a joint committee of ASUU members, officials of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and independent IT experts have been given up till March 8 to come up with the report of a joint review of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

He said: “They will also go there with the technical team and do a joint test on integrity and vulnerability test of UTAS. And we were hopeful that when they commence the test, they will do it and give us a joint report.

“We will also get neutral IT experts to join them. So that if they have areas of disagreement, they can resolve. The timeline is for them to conclude by March 8. We expect that we shall also work on it for six weeks.”

Mr Ngige said there was no problem with the EAA, saying if there are those that are unpaid the minister of finance “will look for the money to pay”.

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