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Academic crisis: ASUU awaits FG’s response on renegotiation

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There are no indications yet when academic activities will resume in Nigeria’s public universities as the negotiation between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is yet to reach a conclusion. ASUU says it has not heard from the government concerning its demands.

The Federal Government’s renegotiation committee, which is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor of Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs, met with ASUU leadership on Monday in continuation of the renegotiation of the FGN-ASUU 2009 agreements with the four university unions, which are all currently on strike.

ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke described the meeting as fair, but said that the other parties were expecting the government to respond to the issues raised with the committee.

Osodeke said he was not sure when the four-month old strike would be called off. ‘‘We are waiting for the final response from the government. It is a committee of different government agencies. They need to go back to their principal and look at what we agreed on and then get back to us. When they respond to us, we will give you full details”, he explained.

He further said that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is still undergoing test by the National Information Technology Development Agency, adding that ASUU has had three meetings with the Federal Government’s committee.

Osodeke also said there was no new invitation from the committee.

ASUU’s action followed the inability of the Federal Government to meet some of its demands including, the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of UTAS.

One of the major disagreements between ASUU and the Federal Government is the mode of payment of university workers. While the government insisted that it would deploy the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which is used for other public institutions, ASUU said the system had deficiencies and rather developed UTAS, which is now undergoing integrity tests.

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