Minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has expressed optimism that the date students would return to school would be known by Thursday next week.
The Minister said this while addressing the press after an emergency meeting held Friday between the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve issues that led to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the lecturers.
When asked about the federal government’s response to the demands of N50 billion made by the union ”to demonstrate its commitment to the revitalisation of public universities, in line with previous agreements with them”, Mr Ngige said the government cannot afford the amount.
According to Ngige, “We do not have N50 billion and we cannot do N50 billion, but we have offered them something reasonable. So they have to take it back and present to their members. Well, the meeting has been protracted and we are getting to the end of the tunnel and we will soon see the light,” he said.
The lecturers embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4. They are demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.
The meeting which started few minutes to 12 noon held at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja. The meeting ended at 3:15 pm
Prior to Friday’s meeting, at least eight other meetings held between both parties.
The national president of the union, Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union will be unable to communicate the outcome of the meeting with journalists until “I communicate with my members”.
According to him, ”we have another set of information for our members and we will like to hear from them before saying anything.
“We have discussed on all the areas but we need to tell our members first. It was the feedback and we have a set of information for our members,” he said.
Mr Ogunyemi said the meeting has been adjourned till next week Thursday.
The meeting was then adjourned to February 7.
Source: Premium Times