Apparently responding to pressures by stakeholders in the higher education sectors, the Federal Government has brought forward the meeting with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from next Monday to tomorrow (Thursday).
A letter to that effect was issued by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and addressed to various stakeholders on Wednesday.
Dated 11th May and signed by the Special Adviser (Technical) to the the Minister, C. C. Dike, the meeting will hold at the Banquet Hall of the State House from 4 pm.
ASUU President, Dr Emmanuel Osodeke confirmed the receipt of the letter to TheCable.
Discussions at the meeting will focus on the ongoing ASUU strike, as well as the industrial action embarked upon by other organisations within the academic community.
The Chairman of the Federal University of Technology, Minna chapter of ASUU, Dr Gbolahan Bolarin had earlier confirmed a meeting for 16th May.
Bolarin, who is also a member of ASUU’s National Executive Council (NEC) said on Tuesday: “I am aware there will be a meeting coming up next week from 16th May with the government, but we are not aware of any invitation from the Minister of Labour and Employment. Holding a meeting is not the issue, the most important thing is the implementation.
“They will call us for meetings and then say the government does not have the money. When aviation declared strike, they settled it because they are mostly affected. Once our leaders are not affected, they do not care. When bad fuel was imported, they did not really care. Our leaders are not sincere, the day the government becomes sincere, issues will be settled.
“We have given them 12 weeks and we hope that they will resolve the issues within this window. This is something they can resolve within a day if they are serious”.
Last Monday, ASUU extended its action by 12 weeks following a meeting of its NEC a day earlier at its University of Abuja secretariat.
Osodeke said the extension was aimed at giving the government more time to satisfactorily resolve the issues.
To press home their demand for a quick resolution of the impasse, students in several universities intensified peaceful protests during the week across the campuses and in other strategic locations.
The protesting students lamented their continued stay at home due to the strike and called on the Federal Government to meet ASUU’s demands to enable them to complete their academic activities.