After several weeks of non-communication between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the non-implementation by the federal government of the agreement it reached with the union last December, both parties have now agreed to meet next week.
The President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, gave this hint in an exclusive interview with Nigerian Tribune at the weekend when asked for the development.
He said the meeting which he didn’t give the exact date it would hold within the week would involve the leadership of the union and the representatives of the Federal Government.
He said the meeting was at the instance of both parties and would be held in Abuja.
It will be recalled that ASUU at different fora in the last few months and particularly after the expiration of its August deadline had been sensitising the public about its protracted contentious issues with the federal government threatening to embark on strike should the federal government continue to look other ways rather than honouring the last agreement it reached with the union since last December.
The agreement, it will be recalled, bothers on the provision of funds for the revitalisation of dilapidating infrastructure (hostel accommodation, befitting lecture theatres, state-of-the-art laboratories, good working environment for lecturers, and so forth), payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), arresting the trend of proliferation of state-owned universities while neglecting the funding of the existing ones and the renegotiation of 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement as well as forceful enrollment of ASUU members into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) at the expense of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS).
It will also be recalled that the Federal Government had come public to have announced its approval of a certain amount of money since last December to meet part of the demands and upon which ASUU suspended its last industrial action that lasted nine months but with the government yet to release even only one kobo till today to the course.