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Strike averted as FG, ASUU reach mutual agreement

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Strike averted as FG, ASUU reach mutual agreement

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have ended their closed-door meeting with a mutual understanding that all contentious issues will be amicably resolved to avert a strike.

The parties also agreed to kick-start a communication process to avert the planned industrial actions by the union.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the parties had entered into a close-door meeting which began at about 4:30 p.m. at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

The meeting which lasted for over two hours, had in attendance the two Ministers overseeing Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, and Dr Yusuf Sununu and other top officials in the ministry in the federal government’ team.

The ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, who led the union’s team, told newsmen after the meeting that the negotiation process had begun, while hoping that the federal government would follow up on what had been agreed on.

“We have discussions on all the issues and we have given assignments to some people to look at, and agree on the way forward.

On the two-week ultimatum issued by the union, Osodeke said they would go back and give the details of the meeting to their members.

“What is important is that we have started the process and our prayers is that we resolve it for the interest of our young men and the interest of the nation.

“The government has spent one year in office and we have not been called for any formal meeting. Today we are having the first formal meeting.

“There is a process we have started and we are going to set deadlines, we are going to meet to look at what has been done on those issues and we hope the process will continue,” he said.

On his part, Mamman said that consultations would commence immediately to overcome the problems bedevilling education.

“We’ve had a very good meeting and a very productive one. We’ve discussed progress on how to ensure that the system works well and lots of the issues we talked about are those that we inherited and some ongoing.

“We discussed them all without exception and we have a consensus on the way forward.

“A lot of consultations will still continue on some information we don’t have, which are beyond the scope of the ministry and which will require us to connect with our colleagues in other ministries.

“But, the most important thing is that we had a very good meeting and agreed to continue with the consultations to overcome the problems bedeviling education in Nigeria,” he said.

It will be recalled that ASUU had threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over the federal government’s failure to meet its demands.

The union had charged the government to act within two weeks to address all outstanding demands by the union.

Some of the issues of contention are removal from IPPIS, Renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, all the backlog of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) and all the outstanding salaries, among others.

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