FG, ASUU continue talks as strike enters fourth month
The Federal Government has continued its negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities as the strike by the lecturers enters its fourth month.
According to Channels TV, the meeting between striking lecturers and the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee, however, ended without a concrete agreement as members planned to reconvene within 24 hours to consider a draft agreement.
Talks between both parties were held on Monday at the Nigeria University Commission in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
A senior member of the union who attended the meeting told Channels TV that they reached some agreements with the Federal Government, but members had to break and reconvene within 24 hours to consider the new terms in the draft agreement.
The Federal Government had set up the committee led by Prof. Briggs on March 7 with a three-month mandate to renegotiate the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government agreement.
The government tasked the committee to ensure the renegotiation brings an end to the ongoing industrial action by the university lecturers.
Three months after it was inaugurated, the committee met with the lecturers but also failed to reach a final agreement that could end the strike that has crippled academic activities across government-owned universities.
Recall that ASUU embarked on a nationwide strike on February 14 over the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System as the payment system in the university sector.
Members also decried the poor funding of universities, non-payment of salaries and allowances of some of their colleagues, as well as the inability of the government to pay earned academic allowance to lecturers, among other issues.
Since the industrial action began, several negotiations between the union and the government have ended in deadlock – a situation that was condemned by the National Association of Nigerian Students.