The federal government of Nigeria on Wednesday announced that a scheduled meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been postponed.
The two parties were earlier scheduled to meet by 3pm on Wednesday (Today) to work out details of a possible end to the eight-month-old strike which has kept lecturers and students away from the classroom.
However, a statement from the Deputy Director, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan hours before the scheduled meeting was to begin, noted that the meeting has been postponed.
The statement, however, didn’t give any reason for the postponement.
“The Meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government earlier scheduled for today (Wednesday) by 3pm has been postponed. Thank you for your understanding,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi had last week Sunday disclosed that the union would not end the nine-month strike until the Federal Government pays all its members their salaries.
However, in his reaction, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige condemned the statement released by the ASUU president as he noted that the federal government has complied with and “faithfully implemented” its agreements with ASUU.
Ngige in a statement released through his media team on Tuesday, titled, ‘We have kept our promises to ASUU-FG’ disclosed that ASUU at the last meeting between the two parties, agreed to call off the nine-month-old strike before December 9.
This perhaps explains why President Muhammadu Buhari also on Tuesday while reacting to the lingering ASUU strike, expressed shock over the non-resumption of ASUU members.
In a statement to newsmen after a meeting with the 36 state governors at the Presidential Villa, Buhari described as “amazing” the failure of the lecturers to suspend their strike.
The president slammed the university lecturers for not taking into consideration the larger challenges facing the country.
Naija News reports that ASUU has been on strike since March 2020 over demands for more funding for public universities and renegotiation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.
Others are outstanding earned academic allowances and the constitution of Visitation Panels to Federal Universities.
The union also opposed the federal government plan to deploy the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in paying lecturers’ salaries.