Whether the four and a half months old strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, would be called off soon now rests on the response of the Federal Government to the demands of the union made through a committee set up the the government to negotiate with it.
Checks by Vanguard on Monday showed that the national leadership of ASUU has made its presentation to the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee set up to renegotiate the 2009 agreement signed by the two sides.
Speaking in a telephone chat with our correspondent, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union had done its best in the circumstance.
“We have made our presentation to the committee and there is nothing more to add,” he said.
On when the feedback is expected from the government’s side, he said, “They promised to get back to us within a short time.”
Though he did not say anything about what the union’s presentation contained, it was gathered that union could give the government more time to meet some demands that have financial implications.
When contacted, Prof. Briggs said his committee had met with ASUU and had done its assignment.
“We have met and ASUU have made their presentation. Some people sent me on an errand and I have to report to them. The committee is not the final authority on this matter. We are not the ones to determine what will be done,” he stated.
Recall that ASUU went on a four-week warning strike on February 14 this year and has extended the strike twice.
First, by eight weeks and secondly by 12 weeks.
Among the issues in contention are staff welfare, payment of Earned Academic Allowance, payment of Revitalisation Fund of N200 billion yearly for at least six years to provide facilities in the universities, stoppage of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the payment platform in the university system among others.
However, government is blaming paucity of funds for its inability to meet some of the demands, while the union is accusing the government of not getting its priorities right.