Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday expressed optimism about its ongoing meeting with the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee, describing the negotiation as being progressive.
Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, the National President, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said the union had been negotiating with the Briggs committee since last week over its demands.
ASUU commenced its ongoing strike on February 14, 2022, after the Federal Government failed 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 the University Transparency and Accountability Solution
The PUNCH reported that on March 7, 2022, the Federal Government inaugurated a seven-person committee tasked with the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement reached with ASUU, which was chaired, by Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike.
‘’We are meeting soon; we are having a follow-up, we don’t publicise our meetings, we want to do it quietly and then tell the public our decision,” Osodeke said
Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Education has received the reports of the 21 White Paper Drafting Panels which were constituted in March 2022 for tertiary institutions across the country.
A statement on Thursday read, “The Minister for Education , Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, received reports of the draft White Paper for the 2021 Presidential Visitation Panels to Federal Universities, Inter-University Centres , Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, at the Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium of the National Universities Commission in Abuja.
“While receiving the reports on behalf of the President, the minister congratulated the chairmen of the visitation panels and their wonderful team members for the great job done and implored them to continue to make themselves available for service to the nation which is a hallmark of every patriot.”
In another development, members of the National Association of Nigerian Students protested in Calabar on Thursday over the failure of the Federal Government to meet the demands of university lecturers leading to the prolonged strike by ASUU.
The students, with placards with inscriptions such as, “Call off the over three months strike now,” caused traffic gridlock along the Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar.
Speaking briefly with journalists after the protest, spokesperson for the students and 200 Level Law student of the University of Calabar, Afufu Anthony, threatened that the protest would be extended to the airport if the Federal Government failed to do something urgently to end the strike.