ASUU Strike Will Be Resolved Soon – FG

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, says that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will be resolved soon.

ASUU Strike Will Be Resolved Soon – FG

The universities’ lecturers had, on February 14, declared a one-month warning strike to protest the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government. The strike has since been extended for over two months.

Addressing journalists on Monday after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by Muhammadu Buhari, Ngige said the government will soon resolve issues causing the strike.

He also said issues concerning the payment platforms will be addressed in the next meeting fixed for Thursday.

“It will be resolved very soon. As the issue is bordered on money, remunerations, welfare, we did another conciliation meeting inviting the ministry of finance, budget of the federation, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and again, with their employers on the 1st of March,” he said.

“After that, it became clear that two cardinal things were still keen — the issue of renegotiation of their welfare package as in the 2009 agreement; that agreement says you can every five years, so, that issue stuck out like a sore thumb.

“Then another issue arose in that agreement — the payment platform of university transparency, accountability solution, which they say they’ve invented. They said they don’t want to be on IPPIS; that was amputating their salaries and taking off certain allowances, and so, that it is not capturing their peculiarities.

“So, we now have to ask them to go back to these places, form committees with them. Education took them on the issue of 2009 agreement, which is renegotiation of their conditions of service, emolument, their remuneration allowances. Therefore, salaries, income and wages, and ministry of finance that produce the money are involved. So, they went back.

“That’s where they are — what we call tripartite plus meeting — based on the presidential directive that the chief of staff, myself, finance, education, find a solution.

“That meeting held in the banquet hall. We gave an instruction again for them to come back with terms. So, as I speak to you, as the arbitrator or conciliator-in-chief, I have not gotten back any of the reports from education, from salaries, incomes and wages, nor from ASUU because they’re supposed to report to me.

“But on the government side, we’re calling up a meeting tomorrow so that everybody on the government side can report if there’s a problem, so we know how to address it.”

The adoption of the payment platform has caused some friction between ASUU and the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA) over the integrity test conducted on the university transparency accountability solution (UTAS).

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