Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, is expected to meet the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday (today) as part of efforts aimed at ending the union’s ongoing strike.
This is coming as the National Association of Nigerian Students directed its members to block major federal roads in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on February 28, 2022 in protest against the ongoing strike.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, confirmed the proposed meeting to our correspondent on Monday.
“The minister will meet with the ASUU on Tuesday by 1pm. It will be at the ministry’s office,” Akpan said.
ASUU declared a four-week nationwide strike on February 14, 2022, when the Federal Government failed to grant its demands.
Some of the union’s demands which had yet to be met are funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment.
While stating his expectations for the meeting, ASUU chairman, University of Lagos chapter, Dr Dele Ashiru, urged the government to commence the implementation of the 2009 ASUU-FG agreement.
He said, “They should just sign our renegotiated 2009 agreement and commence implementation that will usher in a new salary structure for our members.
“We are not averted to renegotiation, what we don’t want is the way they kept our document without attending to it.
“If they have any observation on the document, they should let us know and then we can negotiate. It is the government that runs away from negotiation, our union does not.”
The union’s Lagos Zone Coordinator, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, also said, “Our members are not ready for any Memorandum of Understanding or action because the government has shown absolute insincerity and contempt for our members and they are not ready to develop the Nigerian universities.”
Meanwhile, NANS has ordered the blockage of all major roads in all states across the federation and the Abuja.
The students’ body made this known in a statement on Monday jointly signed by its President, Asefon Sunday; and Secretary-General, Adekitan Lukman, titled ‘NANS National Action Against Incessant ASUU Strike.’
The statement read, “I am pleased to direct the immediate commencement of planning and mass mobilisation of Nigerian students and comrades across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT in line with congress decision.
“The line of actions is as follows: blockage of all major federal roads in all the 36 states of the federation to be led and coordinated by NANS JCC and zonal executive including national officials of NANS in the state.
“The Federal Capital Territory is to be blocked by the national secretariat in collaboration with FCT axis of NANS.
“These became sacrosanct once ASUU and FG fail to reach compromise and get our campuses reopened on or before February 28, 2022.
“In a clear term, Monday, February 28, 2022 is hereby declared as national action day against ASUU incessant strike action.”