Did the FG And ASUU Reopen Dialogue?

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Word making rounds is that the Federal Government (FG) may have reopened
dialogue with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in a bid to end the over two months old strike.
This came just as the National Association of
Nigerians Students (NANS) urged both government
and ASUU to return back to the negotiation table,
with each party willing to shift ground from their
previous positions.
Indications to the new development with ASUU
emerged on Monday, when journalists were called
to cover the meeting, which was eventually
postponed till next week, with a ministry official
saying this was to allow the supervising Minister of
Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, get proper briefing on
the current standpoint of the issues involved.
Wike was joined by the Minister of Labour and
Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, for the meeting
scheduled for 12 noon at the Federal Ministry of
Education conference room before it was called off.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the resumption of
talks followed the exit of the former Minister of
Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, who
was dropped last week by President Goodluck
Jonathan alongside eight other ministers.
The negotiation between the government and
leadership of ASUU broke down over disagreement
on payment of academic earned allowance to union
members.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian students, under the
auspices of NANS, have called on both the Federal
Government and ASUU to return back to the
negotiation table, in order to resolve their
differences in good faith.
Acting Senate president of NANS, John Shima, while
addressing newsmen in Abuja, lauded the sack of
Professor Rufa’i and other ministers, as part of the
initiatives of President Jonathan to retool the
government.
“ASUU and Federal Government should go back to
the negotiating table. Even after wars, issues are
resolved at the roundtable. Nigerian students have
been idle for 78 days.
“Nigerian students are tired of sitting at home. Both
parties are urged to shift ground to ensure quick
resolution of the crisis.
“We lost almost three years of study time in the last
10 years due to strikes; the lost time being enough
to graduate a student in Germany,” Shima said.
Meanwhile, Benue State governor, Mr Gabriel
Suswam, has vowed to get tough on striking
lecturers of Benue State University, Makurdi, by
evoking “no work, no pay” policy if they refuse to
call off what he described as their “sympathy
strike,” which had paralysed academic activities in
the state.

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