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ASUU Opens Peace Talks With Breakaway Group

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has begun reconciliatory talks with a breakaway group known as the Congress of University Academics with the aim of bringing them back into fold.

ASUU National President, Prof  Biodun Ogunyemi, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, confirmed the development, saying  “senior comrades are intervening in the matter and there are people talking to both sides”.

Ogunyemi, who did not disclose the names of the officials involved, said the universities still had the majority of their lecturers in  ASUU.

Our correspondent learnt that top ASUU leaders at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, and Ambrose Ali University, Edo State, had been discussing with the breakaway CONUA members to find a middle ground.

It was reported on Monday that the 41-year-old ASUU split with the emergence of CONUA, having lecturers drawn from five universities, after the formation of the new union was announced in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The lecturers, who unveiled the new union, were from the Federal University, Lokoja, Kwara State University, Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti and OAU.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige,  said  the Federal Government had received and was looking at the application submitted by CONUA.

Ogunyemi told punch correspondent that  ASUU  was intact and still controlled the majority of lecturers at OAU and other four universities.

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has barred its members from participating in the 2019 general elections processes.

It also said the offer from the Federal Government in the efforts to meet its demands as contained in the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoA) is still fluid and far from expectations.

It, however, allows members to voluntarily participate but without using any material that bears ASUU or insignia that relates to the union.

In a strike Bulletin 8 issued and signed by the union’s President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, a copy of which was obtained by the University of Ibadan chapter of ASUU, asked members to await further developments on the strike which are ‘rapidly unfolding.’

According to Ogunyemi, the proposal from government towards resolving the demands of ASUU as contained in the 2017 MoA is still fluid and far from expectations

The bulletin read: “Though some progress has been made with respect to discussion with Government agents (The Minister of Labour and Employment as well as Minister of Education), at the moment, the proposal from Government towards resolving the demand of ASUU as contained in 2017 MoA and Strike Bulletin 1 is still too fluid and far from expectations. Hence, it is the view of the NSCC that members should await further developments which are rapidly unfolding.

“In accordance with the ASUU’s long standing position, ASUU as a union will not participate in the conduct of 2019 general elections, although members may voluntarily participate in the conduct of the elections. However, members are prohibited from participating in the election processes using any material that bears ASUU or relates to the union”

fg-and-asuu-reach-agreement-but-strike-still-continues

The Federal Government has reportedly reached an agreement with the leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in a meeting between both parties in Abuja on Monday, January 7, 2019.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said union’s National Executive Committee (NEC)will review its decision based on the Federal Government commitment.

ASUU And FG meeting

According to Premium Times, Ogunyemi said the strike could only be called off after the NEC meeting. He however, did not state when the meeting will hold.

“We have had an extensive session, looking at all the issues.

”In view of this, the government has promised to reach us as soon as possible with a written proposal on those areas we need further consultations. And when we receive that, we shall treat accordingly and get back to the appropriate quarters,” Ogunyemi said.

Also speaking after the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige said the government has reached an agreement with the striking lecturers.

He added that the accountant general and the ministry of finance have confirmed with evidence that N15.4 billion had been released to public universities.

According to Premium Times, Ngige also said President Buhari has approved N20 billion to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 to 2012 verified earnings in the universities, adding that earned allowances will be released to ASUU as soon as the process is completed.

The labour Minister also said the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had an agreement to fund Nigerian Universities with N220 billion annually for six years starting from 2009.

He, however, said that the government would look for resources to meet the commitment adding that ASUU had been offered some token to show good faith.

Public Universities have been shut down since Sunday, November 4, 2018 as ASUU insists strike won’t be suspended if government fails to meet its demands.

The FG yesterday opened negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Abuja over the universities lecturers’ strike since November 5.

The meeting, started at 3pm and lasted till 9pm, was adjourned till next week, as the striking teachers and government did not reach a consensus

It was learnt that the closed-door meeting looked at the seven points in the Memorandum of Action signed in September 2017, and the two parties reviewed the highlights of the agreement.

The ASUU delegation was led by its National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, while the government side had the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono; and the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.

Ngige said, “The government appeals to ASUU to put the interest of the students first because they are at the receiving end of the consideration.”

In a copy of the 2017 Memorandum of Action, which was reviewed by the two parties, the issues of discussion included “funding for revitalisation of universities; earned academic allowances; staff schools; pension matters; salary shortfalls, Treasury Single Account exemption; and state universities.”

Ogunyemi, after the six-hour meeting, said the union had put forward its demands and the meeting had been adjourned till next week.

He said, “No date has been fixed for next week but we will communicate the date to you tomorrow (Friday). The union was forced to go on strike because our plea for the implementation of the 2017 Memorandum of Action fell on deaf ears.