..We achieve partial success–FG
..We’ll consult members, return Thursday with position,says ASUU
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – FOR the ninth time in a series, the federal government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, failed to resolve their differences during a meeting they held yesterday, in Abuja.
Although the head of the federal government delegation to the meeting and Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige,said the meeting recorded partial success, ASUU president,Biodun Ogunyemi,who said the government made new offer, refused to speak on it. Rather,he said he would meet with members and report his union’s position on Thursday, the next adjourned day.
Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting, Chris Ngige said some progress have been made,adding that it was left for the ASUU to consult with its members and get back on Thursday,the adjourned date.
” It has been protracted but the good news is that we have gotten to the end of the tunnel”.
On whether federal goverment has accepted to provide the N50 billion demanded by ASUU, Ngige said government has offered ASUU something very reasonable and that they have agreed to take it back to their people and to reconvene next Thursday.
“We have met it had way. We have offered what we have, we don’t have N50 billion. The Minister of Finance has also said so, that federal government cannot afford N50 billion now,” he said.
The National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyem,on his part,i said the meeting had made some progress.
He, however, refused to speak further even as he said he was going back to consult with ASUU members on the outcome of the latest meeting.
Ogunyemi said another meeting has been scheduled for next week, Thursday where the two sides hope to further deliberate on the way forward.
Hear him:”The meeting has been adjourned till Thursday, we will be here again to continue talks”
Asked to give details of the new offer made to ASUU by goverment, Ogunyemi said he cannot disclose it until it gets to his members first.
“We presented the feedback from members on the previous discussions with the FG and we have another set of information to our members and until we give them, we are not going to speak about it” he said.
The ASUU president assured that the union will definitely have something to tell Nigerians after the next meeting on Thursday.
At the resumed talks yesterday, ASUU leadership restated the union’s demand for a N50 billion revitalization fund as the benchmark for resolution of the current industrial dispute.