The Federal Government’s effort to end the ongoing industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suffered another setback as it failed to reach an agreement with the leaders of the union again.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, presided over a resumed negotiation with the striking university lecturers on Monday at the ministry in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Unlike previous meetings which ended inconclusively, ASUU National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, led other leaders of the union out of the meeting.
Professor Ogunyemi, however, refused to speak to reporters about why the union leaders walked out of the meeting which lasted about two hours.
Earlier, the minister assured the ASUU leaders that attention would be paid to three critical demands which included salary shortfalls, university revitalization, and earned allowances of ASUU members.
With the recent development, academic activities will remain grounded in concerned universities across the country after the ASUU president said earlier that the union would wait until today before taking a decision on whether or not to suspend the industrial action.
A similar meeting with the minister last week was adjourned till today when the minister was expected to brief the striking lecturers on areas that the Federal Government has agreed to implement from their long list of demands.
ASUU began the total nationwide strike in November after a meeting of its national leadership at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The industrial action was to protest the poor funding of Nigerian Universities and the alleged plot to increase students’ fees in some institutions.
Among other issues raised by the union include the introduction of an education bank and the non-implementation of previous agreements.