Strike: Again, FG, ASUU Refuse To Shift Ground

Again negotiations between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday was deadlocked following refusal by the union to shift its ground, insisting that the federal government must implement the 2009 agreement it reached with ASUU.

Speaking at the end of a meeting with the FG team led by Benue State governor Gabriel Suswam, the ASUU president, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge said it has resolved to continue the strike until the government meets its demands.

The federal government team had earlier proposed to pay N30 billion out of the N90 billion being demanded by ASUU as part of the earned allowance

The ASUU president said, “The objective of going on strike is to get government to implement the 2009 ASUU/ FGN agreement. Particularly to implement the provision of the memorandum of understanding we reached in 2012.

“It’s important to clarify that at this point, we are not making a demand. There was an agreement with government. At this point what the union is talking about is the 2009 agreement, not the renegotiation of the agreement”

Asked when the strike will be called off, Fagge said, “We will wait to hear from government. For now, we will go back and report to our principals.”

Speaking earlier, the secretary to the federal government, Ayim Pius Ayim, said the issue of earned allowance which the union was demanding for N92 billion, the Federal Government was willing to release N30 billion.

He said, “We can say that virtually all matters have been resolved. The only issue that remains a bit contentious is that of earned allowance. What the federal government has proposed to do is to release N30 billion to the University council to address the issue of earned allowance.

“ASUU has promised to report to their principals and we will work on fulfilling our side of the bargain within the week.”

Also speaking, Governor Gabriel Suswam who chaired the NEEDS assessment committee said the government has been able to harness N100 billion to disburse to the universities across the country to revitalise their infrastructures.

He said, “The president has agreed to flag off projects starting from first week of September in virtually all universities. The process of achieving that is ongoing and we will address the due process.”

He said the infrastructural deficits in the nation’s universities to be addressed by the NEEDS assessment will include hostels, classrooms, theatres, laboratories and libraries.

“Some will be renovated and some will be newly built. Each university will have at least one ongoing project when the president flags off this project in the first week of September,” he said.

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