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Senate/ASUU meeting ends in deadlock

By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- SIX days after a meeting between the Senate and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU ended in stalemate, a renewed of same to nip in the bud, ongoing warning strike, again ended in deadlock yesterday.

At the end of the 8 hours meeting which ended 8.32 pm yesterday, there was however no concrete agreement between the University lecturers and the lawmakers.

Addressing Journalists after the meeting, Chairman Senate Committee on Tertiary Education, Senator Jibrin Barau, APC, Kano North said that both parties agreed with some of the issues raised, except one that had to do with their earned allowances, adding that they (ASUU) were going to make consultations with their members on the way forward.

Barau said: “You can see we have spent about 8 hours in this very important meeting. We have deliberated and thank God we have dealt with all the issues and we have agreed in all the issues except one.

“We have adjourned to make consultations, every sections of the meeting will get back to his constituency and report to it what transpired. At a later that we will reconvene to thrash out the remaining issues.

“Is about the earned allowances that need to be paid the university lecturers, the government due to the paucity of funds proposed certain amount of money but ASUU thought otherwise that the money was quite inadequate but he’s going back to his members to report to them and make consultations and later get back to us.

“But we do hope they come up with good news that they have accepted the government offers”

Efforts to speak to ASUU to get their own side of the story proved abortive as the president refused to speak with journalists.

It would be recalled that the Senate had last week Tuesday asked the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency engage members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU in first talks to proffer solutions on how best to implement all the agreements that both bodies entered into since 2009.

The Senate had also called for the implementation of key necessities that were vital for the well-being and development of our universities as canvassed by ASUU, just as it mandated Senate President Bukola Saraki to as a matter of urgency intervene in stopping the impending one week warning strike by ASUU over the Federal Government’s failure to implement the 2009 agreement and 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The upper chambers had also hailed ASUU for choosing the path of dialogue in resolving the issue rather than engage in confrontation as a means of resolving all the outstanding issues between it and the Federal Government and called on the Union not to relent in its approach of dialogue.

The Senate also resolved that whatever was agreed to be paid to lecturers and other actions to be taken as a result of prayer one above should be captured in the 2017 budget for prompt implementation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion on an urgent of matter of national importance by Senator Jibrin Barau, APC, Kano North.

The motion was title, “the demands of the academic staff union of universities and the need for the Federal Government to urgently reengage them to amicably resolve the issues in dispute.”

Moving the motion, Senator Barau said, “The Senate notes the demands by ASUU that the Federal Government of Nigeria should fulfill and ASUU 2009 agreement as well as to carry out certain actions that are necessarily for the well being and development for the Nigerian public universities.

“Observed that there are series of agreements not yet implemented by the Federal Government which it entered into with the academic staff union of universities dated back to the year 2009 and over which the union has lately become very agitated.

On Wednesday last week, a meeting between the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and representatives of ASUU, with a view to arriving at a common ground over the ongoing warning strike, ended in deadlock.

The University lecturers had as a result of alleged non implementation of agreements the federal government had with them in 2009, resolved to embark on a week warning strike from Wednesday last week to today, Tuesday, preparatory to full blown one later if government remained adamant over the agreements.

But after over three hours of marathon meeting between the Saraki led intervention group from the Senate and the ASUU’S national executives led by its National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said that the warning strike would continue.


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