University lecturers, ASUU to decide on Nigerian government’s offer, strike action at NEC meeting

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There is uncertainty as to whether the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will consider and accept the Nigerian Government’s offers at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting next Monday. It was gathered that the union will hold its NEC meeting next week to decide on the offers by the Federal Government of Nigeria for it to end the ongoing over five months strike. Easterner learnt that the meeting would determine whether the government would sledge ASUU or yield to more negotiation for better offers for the union.
Vanguard reports that according to some of the ASUU NEC members, whatever would be the decision of the union, would be in the best interest of the university system. But the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, has maintained that the union was yet to officially get any offer from the government. Prof Osodeke was quoted as saying, “We have been negotiating with them through collective bargaining and whatever they have should not be made to us on the pages of newspapers. It should be done the way it is expected to be done. Our main problem with the government is that there is a trust deficit. They will say something and will do another thing.

“After the Memorandum of Action was signed last year with them, they were supposed to pay some money in two tranches starting from August last year, but they did not do the needful.

“As for other unions suspending their actions, ASUU is not a one-man show; we will look collectively at whatever is presented to us. But as of now, nothing has been officially offered.”
But it was also reported that the coming ASUU NEC meeting could lead to the Nigerian government unleashing harsh conditions on the union if it refuses to accept the reported offers and end the strike.
Recall that the Nigerian government on Friday made new offers to the striking university lecturers. The government offered the union N65 billion and agreed to pay the lecturers their outstanding salaries using an older payment platform, Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), which is different from the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The N65 billion was to be expended on earned allowances and “revitalisation of universities.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who gave a breakdown of the funds after a meeting between the government negotiation team and ASUU said that the Accountant General of the Federation has offered to release N40 billion “or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered trade unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.”
“The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or N35 billion, whichever is accepted by ASUU, was for all the universities’ unions. ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions.”

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