Both the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday claimed to have shifted grounds in the knotty negotiations to end the seven-month strike by public university lecturers.
However, there is no agreement yet to pave the way for the reopening of schools.
ASUU has been on strike since March 23, leaving the students stranded at home. They have now lost an academic Session.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the Federal Government had tried its best to meet the demands of ASUU.
Ngige listed the Additional concessions given to ASUU as follows:
Receipt of ASUU’s University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) salary payment proposal and presentation to NITDA for verification
Readiness of the government to pay N40b for Earned Allowances for ASUU members, other unions
Setting up of visitation panels for all universities
The FG-ASUU renegotiation team now likely for inauguration week, now headed by ex-NUC Secretary, Prof. Munzali Jibril.
Availability of N20billion for the revitalization of universities.
He said: “As we are now, the Visitation Panels for all the universities have been approved and it is in the Federal Ministry of Education for gazetting. The gazetting will make for the announcement of the lists and swearing in. All the panels will go to their various universities and work for six weeks. Hopefully, the list will be announced this week.
“Also, the renegotiation team will be named this week. Since Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) is out as the chairman of the negotiating committee.
The government is saying ASUU should get on to IPPIS, whenever your portal is ready, you migrate back to UTAS. That is where we are. Those are the three issues for determination.”
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi in a statement on Sunday said the union had shifted positions in some respects by reducing their demand of one tranche (N220b) of the outstanding revitalisation fund by 50 per cent.
For instance, our members have reduced their demand of one tranche (N220b) of the outstanding revitalization fund by 50%. The Union has also agreed that N30b out of the so far verified arrears of N40b of the earned academic allowances (EAA) be paid to our members while the balance of N10b could be spread over the next two tranches