The about six-hour meeting held yesterday between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), and the Federal Government – with a view to calling off the 12-day old strike embarked upon by public university lecturers – ended in deadlock.
The government on Thursday opened negotiations with ASUU at the Ministry of Labour and Employment office in Abuja over the universities lecturers’ strike since November 5.
The meeting, which started at 3pm and lasted till 9pm, was adjourned, as the striking teachers and government did not reach a middle ground.
However, the two parties agreed that negotiation will resume next week.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the meeting, the National President of ASUU, Prof Abiodun Ogunyemi, said the strike was still ongoing and had not been called off as ASUU’s demands were yet to be met.
His words: “We have just started the discussions, we have not really gone far. So what we have done today is just to open up the issues. So the strike still continues. We have not fixed a date for the next meeting but by tomorrow, we should know.”
While the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, during a brief session with newsmen before the closed-door meeting, apologised that “talks with the academic union are coming a bit late because we have been having negotiations on the new minimum wage.”
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.”