The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed hope that its ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government over their long-standing differences that have crippled academic activities in the nation’s public universities for about five months now would be over soon.
The President of the union, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, gave this hope in an exclusive interview with Tribune Online at the weekend.
He was asked for an update on the union’s position as regards its ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government team led by Prof Nimi Briggs, who is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).
The ASUU boss said that even though calling off the strike is not a personal decision but that of the union congress, all he could say for now is that their negotiation with the Federal Government team was still ongoing and at the advanced stage of reaching conclusion.
He said ASUU would definitely let the media and members of the public know its stance on the negotiation and the way forward at the appropriate time.
“But for now, we are still negotiating and to conclude on this very soon,” he emphasised.
It will be recalled that ASUU has since February been on strike over some unmet demands that they consider important to stabilise the public university system.
The demands include the funding of the revitalisation of public universities, payment of Earned Academic Allowances and promotion arrears, replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System( IPPIS) with the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), as well as the renegotiation of its 2009 agreement with the Federal Government, among others.
It will also be recalled that ASUU has remained adamant that it would not want to go back to classrooms on empty promises by the Federal Government, the condition that has continued to keep hundreds of thousands of students at home idle.