The Federal Government is optimistic following its meeting with university-based unions.
The Head of the Ministry of Labour and Employment reached some agreements with unions through negotiations.
There is currently a strike led by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian universities, Non-Academic Staff Union, and Association of Academic Technologists.
The Labour Union embarked on strike action while demanding improved welfare packages and better working conditions as they sought implementation of various agreements signed with the Federal Government.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said “We had a cordial and fruitful discussion; we looked at the issues dispassionately and reached some agreements, to the satisfaction of everybody in attendance.”
The meeting was moved from the labour ministry to a different location because some parties not in the government attempted to resolve the dispute with unions.
The Nigerian Inter-Religious Council and the Christian Association of Nigeria participated in the meeting with Ibrahim Gambari, who was the Chief of Staff to the President.
The negotiation team met with representatives from different organisations, like the Ministries of Labour and Finance, some people from the ASUU, and more.
The Minister of Labour spoke about reaching some agreements during the meeting.
The Minister of Labour said, “We discussed. Everybody was happy. We reached some agreements, and we hope that by next week those agreements will start maturing.
“The four unions will also go and brief their members so that they can call off the strike.”
The minister said we will be able to work on renegotiating the condition of service next week and the wage review.
In her remarks, Gambari discussed that universities have been having recurrent problems and as a result the calendar is being damaged.
He urged ASUU to return to the classrooms while negotiations were ongoing.
The President is determined to stop the negative occurrences in Nigeria tertiary institutions.
Gambari stresses the need for quality education.
The union appealed more to the interest of children, rather than those of the nation.
President of Nigerian Union of Teachers, Emmanuel Osodeke, urged the government to give quality attention to education. He said all the problems in that sector can be solved if the government does something soon.
ASUU, which is a university students’ union, has been on strike for a prolonged period of time. Obafemi Awolowo University students have protested against this. Their protest led to major roads being blocked.
The leader of protesters, Omowumi Abraham, said that we need to have better education funding. In 2020 we will be at home during the ASUU strike and coronavirus outbreak. It also led to higher crime rates in Nigeria. They should not toy with our future by keeping schools closed indefinitely.
The students of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko, on Friday, also took to the streets to protest against the strike.
The president of the Adekunle Ajasin University Students’ Union Government spoke during a protest, and he said “we are on the street to express displeasure of the Federal Government.” They want their universities to reopen as soon as possible.
“We are tired of sitting at home with no job,” stated Salami. “Our education is being truncated, and we are pleading with the Feds to meet with ASUU.”
University undergraduates in Imo State also staged a protest on Friday against the lingering ASUU strike. The protesters expressed their frustrations with the lack of adequate funding, facilities and equipment. They are demanding premium pay as well.
The president of the National Association of Imo State Students has given the senate seven days to come up with a solution, else there will be road blocks.
The protesters are not asking for too much because they only want the chance to finish their education. They want society to understand that enough is enough and to take responsibility for their futures.
The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, is pleading with the Federal Government and the Nigerian Association of University Teachers to come to an agreement that would protect the future of Nigeria’s students.
To ensure a balanced society and reduce the rate of violence in Nigerian society, Oba Akanbi has announced plans to limit the destruction of forests.
The monarch appealed to the ASUU to prioritize students’ interest and be soft with their demands. It is important that they are not at risk of instability due to weakness in the nation.