Update: ASUU agrees to call off 8-months strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU has agreed to call off its eight-month strike which has grounded academic activities in the public universities since March.

The union leadership reached the consensus during a meeting with the government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment,  Dr. Chris Ngige, in Abuja, on Friday.

The government also pledged to pay N40 billion as the Earned Allowance and N30bn for the revitalization of the university system bringing the total payment to N70 billion.

The FG further agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 31.

This is happening one week after the Federal Government accepted the demand by the ASUU that they are exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System pending the approval of their proposed payment system,  the University Transparency, and Accountability Solution.

ASUU is expected to report the agreement to its organs and then communicate their decision to the government after which a date for the calling off of the strike would be announced.

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A source informed our correspondent that ASUU insisted that the agreement should not be announced until it has been approved by its members.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ngige said the parley was fruitful, adding that the government made a proposal to ASUU which it would take back to its members.

He said, “Many issues were discussed at the meeting including salary shortfall, the payment system, and revitalization of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting.”

The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, simply said everything Ngige said was correct and declined further comment.

The meeting

Yesterdaya’s meeting, which was scheduled for 11 a.m. started at 2:25 p.m. with the labour minister, Chris Ngige, presiding.

He said the government gave the union some offers last week and “they promised to consult with their members and get back to us”.

“We pray for a fruitful discussion that will bring our children to school,” he said.

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In his remark, the national president of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said the position of the union members had been documented and will be presented to the minister.

Mr Ngige declared the commencement of the technical session of the meeting at 2:35 p.m.

ASUU Strike

ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike on March 23 to demand “revitalisation allowance”, earned academic allowances, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, visitation panels, among other demands.

The Abusite reported how the federal government, last Friday, made some concessions to the striking university lecturers through their union.

ALSO READ: End of Strike imminent as ASUU branches ratify new FG offer

The government offered N65 billion to Nigerian universities to address some of the lecturers’ demands.

The government also agreed to pay the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, GIFMIS, different from the controversial IPPIS.

Official Call Off

According to an ASUU official who confided in The Abusites, the strike is technically off. “The ASUU Strike is technically off. We may not have achieved everything we set out to, but we are okay with what we have achieved so far and I think the government is also happy with its position. Main hurdles have been crossed and the strike will most definitely be called off”

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“ASUU team will have to report back to the branches and agree on a that which will be tabled at the next meeting with government. I am confident that the strike will be called off within now and next or two weeks. But I doubt if resumption to campus will take place before January.” He concluded

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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