ASUU Refuses to Attend Scheduled Meeting with FG, Tuesday

The Academic Staffs Union of Universities (ASUU), refused to show up for a scheduled meeting with the Federal Government, Tuesday, on grounds that the union’s position had already been communicated to the Federal Government.
Many had hoped that the meeting would result in shifting of grounds and probably lead to calling off the two-week old strike.
However, the union refused to attend the highly anticipated meeting, saying there is no need for the meeting since its position had already been sent to the Federal Government.
The Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere, had confirmed the meeting with ASUU late Monday.
But the leadership of the lecturers did not show up for the meeting which was scheduled to commence at 12.00 at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Addressing newsmen, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said the meeting had to be put off to enable the government team to consider the counter offer received from the union and to possibly get the nod of the Federal Executive Council on the some of the issues contained in the union’s demand.
The Minister said: “The government as you know has made an offer to ASUU through the ministry of education and late yesterday (Monday) ASUU got back to us with their counter offer. By then, this meeting had been scheduled and the government side needed to deliberate on their counter offer before we can have a reconciliation meeting to further discuss areas of disagreement. That is the position right now.
“We are holding a government side meeting, while, the Minister of Education is also holding a meeting and we will meet later today and formalize our position. Tomorrow is Federal Executive Council meeting and there are aspects that we will need FEC approval to go on with. Thereafter, we will meet with the ASUU team either tomorrow evening or Thursday morning, which ever will be more convenient.”
In a statement on Tuesday signed by ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, the lecturers said: “On Thursday 17th August 2017, we met with the Minister of Labour and Education where it was decided that we should consult our members and revert to the government, we have consulted our members and in a letter dated 28th of August, we have written back to the Federal Government on the outcome of our consultations.
“As we expect the Federal Government reaction to our letter, we hope it would not be long before we receive a response that would be bring lasting solution to the dispute.”
When contacted, ASUU President said the union did not attend the meeting since a letter had been sent to the government detailing its position.
“We already sent them a letter, so there was no need for the meeting, what we are expecting is a reply to our letter,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) said it was looking forward to the resolution of the standoff between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government in anticipation of the meeting.
NANS’ President, Chinonso Obasi, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, urged both parties to engage in constructive dialogue as they meet over the strike.
“As the Federal Government plans to meet with ASUU on the ongoing indefinite strike, NANS is calling on the parties to engage in constructive engagement.
“Such engagement will enable both parties to resolve the lingering issues that led to the declaration of the strike, save the education sector and the future of Nigerian students.
“Incessant and prolonged strike is one of the factors responsible for the falling standard of education in Nigeria apart from the attendant untoward hardship to the students and their parents.
“Though ASUU had called for an emergency Senate meeting to deliberate on the strike and the way forward before the Federal Government’s call for a meeting with the union, NANS will await the outcome of the meeting to determine the next line of action,’’ it stated.
The statement urged both parties to put the interest of education and the students at heart as they meet.

Author: News Editor

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