President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Biodun Ogunyemi, has explained why they stayed away from the scheduled meeting with the Federal Government on Tuesday .
Ogunyemi stated that the union had earlier submitted details of views collated from its members, following the meeting with government a fortnight ago to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige. as well as his Education counterpart.
According to him, the union will only accept a meeting if government replies its proposal.
“Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, were forced to proceed on indefinite, comprehensive and total strike action on Sunday, 13th August, 2017 following Government’s failure to implement issues, on which understanding was reached during the suspended warning strike of November, 2016.
“We have since held talks with representatives of government and consulted our members nationwide on steps to be taken to immediately resolve the lingering crises.
“Among issues in the dispute are the registration of the Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO), fractionalization of salaries in Federal Universities and gross under-funding/non-funding of State Universities, and arrears and implementation of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
“Other issues are release of fund for revitalization of public universities as spelt out in 2013 Memorandum of Understanding, guidelines for retirement benefits of professors i line with 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, Treasury Single Account (TSA) and withdrawal of support for universities’ staff primary schools.
“On Thursday, 17th August, 2017, we met with officials of the officials of the ministry of education and labour and employment where it was agreed that the union should consult and “revert back to government”. Following the due consultation, we have collated the views of our members on the offers from the government in dispute in the latter of 16th August 2017. These views were submitted to federal government vide our letter dated 28th August 2017.
“As we await the Federal Government’s action on our letter, we hope that it would not be long before we receive a positive response which will bring an end to the dispute. Meanwhile, we thank all Nigerians, particularly our student (and their parent) and the media, for their understanding, so far ,on the need to speedily address the issues in the best interest of the Nigerian University System and for the overall development of the country.” he said in a statement.