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Strike: ASUU, SSANU say talks with Nigerian Government in progress

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, National President of ASUU (middle) at a meeting in Abuja, FCT

*’We are discussing with the Federal Government through the renegotiation team,’ says Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, National President of ASUU

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions have disclosed the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee is in negotiation with the unions.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, National President of ASUU, who stated this in an interview with The Punch Sunday, May 29, 2022, said the academic Union had been negotiating with the Briggs Committee since last week over its demands.

Recall that ASUU commenced its ongoing strike February 14, after the Federal Government allegedly had failed to meet some of its demands.

Some of the Union’s pending demands include: release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution payment platform.

The Federal Government, March 7, inaugurated a seven-man committee chaired by the Pro-Chancellor of Alex Ekweme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Prof Nimi Briggs, report stated.

The committee, which is expected to review the proposed FGN/ASUU Agreement, has its terms of reference, some of which include: to liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the FG to the issues in the draft proposed FGN/ASUU renegotiated agreement; renegotiate in realistic and workable terms the 2009 agreements with other university-based unions; and negotiate and recommend any other issue the committee deems relevant to reposition the National Universities Commission for global competitiveness.

Prof. Osodeke said: “We are discussing with the Federal Government through the renegotiation team and we started last week.

“The negotiation is between ASUU and the Briggs Committee and agreement should be negotiated quietly.”

The National President also noted: “When we reach an agreement, we will come to the press.

“We hope this approach/ negotiation will solve the problem so that by next week, we will brief Nigerians. Give us a little time.”

“We don’t know until we finish the negotiation.”

Likewise, report indicates that Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, SSANU National President, confirmed that the Union had two meetings with the Briggs Committee.

He further stated: “Yes, the Briggs Committee is negotiating with the unions and the government should fast track the process.

“We are not used to staying at home; we are ready to go back to work as soon as all the issues we raised are discussed and agreed upon.”

SSANU’s strike started with a warning strike of two weeks, which commenced on March 27, 2021, while the extension of another two weeks commenced Sunday, April 10, 2022.

It is ongoing, having been reported that it has been extended by a month.

Some of the demands of SSANU also include the inconsistent issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, unpaid earned allowances, and delay in the renegotiation of FGN, NASU, SSANU agreements, and non-payment of minimum wage arrears.

Others include neglect and poor funding of state universities, non-payment of retirement benefits to outgoing members of the unions, and usurpation of the headship of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures, among others.

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