By Joseph Erunke
Again,the meeting held yesterday between the federal government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to resolve issues that resulted in the ongoing strike by universities teachers ended in a stalemate.
The resumed meeting which began at 2:30 pm, and lasted till 6:50 pm, without the representatives of the government,led by the Minister of Education,Mallam Adamu Adamu and that of ASUU on the other hand,led by its national president, Dr Biodun Ogunyemi, reaching a common ground.
Yesterday’s meeting also had the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education,Sunny Echono, representative of NUC and representative of the National Income , Wages and Salaries commission in attendance.
Speaking with newsmen, shortly after emerging from the meeting, ASUU president,Dr Ogunyemi, said:”We have started to discuss,our discussions are continuing and for now,we are yet to reach any concrete decisions. As soon as we have more information, we will make ourselves available to the press.”
Asked when the meeting between the union and the government would be held again,he simply replied:”Very soon. So we are to meet again, we are still discussing.”
On his part, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, refused to speak to the press.
Representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students,NANS,who briefly participated in the meeting, expressed concern over the lingering crisis in the nation’s universities, resulting in the ongoing strike.
National President of the body, Danielson Akpan, appealed to both the government and the university lecturers to shift ground in the interest of Nigerian students,who he noted,were bearing the brunt of the strike.
He said: “The two parties should think of the interest of this country and the interest of the Nigerian students.
“I just feel that it is important that both parties consider the interest of the students who are the ones that bear the brunt.
“Going forward,they should do everything possible to bring about a resolution.”
Recall that the union embarked on the ongoing strike on November 4, over the poor funding of Nigerian universities coupled with what it considered as perceived plans by the federal government to increase fees and introduce an education bank, as well as non-implementation of previous agreements.