Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, expressed his conviction that members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will accept the new deal by the Federal Government and end the eight-month strike.
He feels that this offer is one of the best ASUU has ever got since he started conciliation with them. He said that he did not see why they should reject the offer. Everything they asked for has been granted.
He said that students has been waiting from Friday to Friday, sitting at home, that it is unfair, they should come back to us by Tuesday. They have done that before when we negotiated with the Senate President. The offer was made on a Thursday and they came back to us on a Tuesday.
He urged ASUU to hasten consultations with its members in order to return before friday to the negotiation table to conclude matter.
“So, that’s what I expect them to do this time around. If they do so, the nation will appreciate them and regard them as patriotic citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I expect them to get back to me much earlier than Friday
The government also offered to increase the Earned Allowances to university staff from N30 billion to N35b and the Revitalisation Fund from N20b to N25b.
The development came after weeks of negotiations and disagreements by the FG and ASUU, which proposed the University Transparency and Accountability Solution as its preferred payment platform.
Reading out the communique at the end of a seven-hour negotiation with ASUU members in Abuja on Friday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had said the government also agreed to ASUU’s demand to pay their members’ salary arrears from February to June through the old salary payment platform, Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System.
The breakthrough in negotiations is expected to end the eight-month strike embarked on by the university lecturers as parents and students wait on ASUU to call off the strike.