The Federal Government (FG) have finally reached an agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the ongoing strike in public tertiary institutions.
Both parties were scheduled to meet on Thursday, 7th September 2017 and after spending 11 hours and 30 minutes (1:30 pm -11 pm) in a closed door meeting, they finally reached an agreement on some demands made by the union.
According to reports, both parties were initially obstinate to agree on some contentious issues, however, there was a breakthrough in the negotiations later on with the FG as well as ASUU both signing a memorandum.
The FG's delegation led included the likes of Labour and Employment Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige; Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu and Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Awuka.
On the other hand, the ASUU delegation consisted of 9 persons led by the union's president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi.
Education Minister, Adamu Adamu stated that the contentious issues which were identified were 'earned academic allowances' as well as 'revitalization of public universities'.
"Most of the issues between the government and the union have already been dealt with. The two most important and contentious issues are the earned allowances and the revitalization of the university system. We have already reached an agreement on one and we hope to reach an agreement on the other".
Labour and Employment Minister, Dr. Ngige added that the meeting was held in order to break down the areas of misunderstanding and mistrust between the FG and ASUU.
The Labour Minister said;
"We last met on August 17 and we agreed you would get back to your members and you would give us your proposal. Between then and now, a lot of things have happened and some contacts and meetings were held between you and the Minister of Education.
"Some appreciable and tangible results were achieved. We are convening this meeting with this in mind; to smooth the rough edges and enable you to call off this strike, which will be one month in a matter of days. This will not augur well for the academic calendar of universities. We want to address and break down the areas of mistrust between us".
ASUU president, Prof. Ogunyemi indicated that once the contentious issues were resolved, the education union would consult with its members and make a final decision.
Prof. Ogunyemi said;
"Once we are able to resolve the contentious issues, we are willing to go back to our members in earnest and take the final decision on this action".
According to the ASUU president, the union would respond to the FG's proposal in a week's time.
Public tertiary institutions have been on strike since August 14th and both the FG and ASUU have failed to reach an agreement since then until Thursday's breakthrough in negotiations.