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ASUU Strike: Universities To Resume Next Month – FG

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After months of inactivity and being under lock and key, if latest developments and outcome of discourse among stakeholders in the educational sector are anything to go by, academic activities will return to public universities next month.

Citynews Nigeria  understands that the aforementioned is sequel to the resolution reached between the federal Government and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during last Thursday’s meeting.

Labour and Employment Minister Dr. Chris Ngige, who broke the news, said the parties would continue talks today in furtherance of discussions on the special tasks assigned to both sides at the last meeting.

ASUU National President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, confirmed meeting with the federal government representatives today.

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He, however, said the union would issue a statement on the minister’s disclosure of when schools will reopen tomorrow.

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Ogunyemi wrote in a WhatsApp message: “ASUU shall respond appropriately by Wednesday, 23 December. Thank you.”

For his part, Ngige was upbeat about resolving the Impasse that’s kept students out of school for months on end.

He averred that the government would reach a compromise in today’s meeting with the lecturers who have been on strike since March, adding that the government has met almost all the demands of ASUU.

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He said negotiations between the ASUU leadership and the government had reached 98 per cent, adding that it remains only two per cent to be completed.

Ngige gave the assurance when he spoke at the launching of his free medical outreach at the Community’s Health Center.

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The outreach took place in his hometown at Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area country home in Anambra State.

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The Federal Government, few weeks ago, raised its offer to the striking lecturers to N70 billion.

In a statement, Ngige said the government was willing to pay N40 for Earned Allowances which would be shared among three university-based unions and N30 billion for revitalisation.

The minister disclosed that the funds were ready for disbursement pending when the union agrees to call of the over eight-month-old strike.

However, the payment of arrears has become a stumbling block in resolving the protracted issue as the union insists on the settling of the arrears of its members’ salaries before suspending the industrial action its embarked on.

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Ngige said: “We have met about 98 per cent of the request of ASUU. Some five to two per cent is what you can call promissory notes.

“So, I am very hopeful that by midnight today, there are some works we are supposed to get on to do. They also have some work they are supposed to do on their own side with their people.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday), we will meet in the afternoon and we will compare notes. We will put everything on the table and compare. I believe that we might have come to the end of the strike when we meet.”

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