Olusegun Ariyo

Many Nigerians wonder why the Whole Process of Negotiating committee initiated by the federal government to mediate with The Academics staff union of Nigeria University SSANU And Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions is still foot-dragging in Moving to the Next Phase of its agreement, it is that they said they were waiting for their Masters.

The Federal Government renegotiation committee, chaired by Pro-Chancellor of Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Prof. Nimi Briggs, is expected to review the draft proposed 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement and renegotiate with all the striking university unions.

Since April 2022, the Briggs renegotiation committee had been meeting with the unions in the universities who are all currently on strike due to unmet demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the FG.

National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke in an interview with journalists said the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee told the union they were waiting for the Federal Government to respond to the reports of the meeting they had so far.

‘‘Yes, we had a meeting with them last week and they have not called us again. All they told us was that they are waiting for their principal, that when their principal responds, they will get back to us,’’ he said.

Osodeke said they had not gotten an invitation for another meeting. But lamented that this was the situation since May 2021, ‘‘the same way they told us they were waiting for the FG in May 2021 and yet no result.’’

Similarly, the national president, SSANU, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, whose union had a meeting with the renegotiation Committee last week Friday said all that was done were appraisals and reviews, adding that the Briggs committee said they were waiting for their ‘masters’ to respond.

 ‘‘They told us they are waiting for their ‘masters’ we reviewed the meeting and they promised to get back to us when their principal responds. So we are waiting. The strike is still on.’’

ASUU commenced its ongoing strike on February 14,  2022, after the Federal Government refused to meet some of its demands including, the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

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