The strike has been on since July 1.
As university branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, held their congresses on Monday, signs are emerging that the more than four months strike embarked by the union might be suspended later this week.
The President of the Union, Nasir Fagge, however, told PREMIUM TIMES that the union would not take a position on the strike until all its local branches conclude their meeting. Already, lecturers of the Lagos State University, at their congress held on Monday afternoon at the Ojo campus, resolved to suspend the strike following the latest offer by the Federal Government.
PREMIUM TIMES also learnt that congresses were held at various universities and plans are already under way for the ASUU National
Executive Council to meet in the next 48 hours to analyse decisions reached at university congresses which will determine whether the strike is suspended or not.
After a marathon meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan last Tuesday, the Federal Government made a new offer to the lecturers
which reportedly contains, among others, a yearly expenditure of N220 billion to universities in the country over the next five years.
Should the union accept the government’s offer, it would replace the controversial 2009 agreement that ASUU has been asking the government to implement.
The new offer somewhat eased the deadlock in the negotiations between the government and the union; as the union leaders agreed to consult with their members over the government’s offer.
ASUU had insisted that its members would not go back to work until the government honours an agreement it reached with the union in 2009.
The 2009 agreement included funding to the tune of N3 trillion, university autonomy, academic freedom, amendment of retirement age of academics at the professorial cadre, federal assistance to state universities, and transfer of Federal Government landed property to universities.
Mr. Fagge confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the various university branches of the union were currently meeting.
In a telephone interview, he said “until the branches finish meeting, we cannot call an executive council meeting.”
He explained that the executive council of the union would deliberate on the collated resolutions of the branches in order to take a
decision on the strike.
The don also refused to comment on the details of the meeting between the union’s leaders and President Goodluck Jonathan; and also refused to confirm or deny the N220 billion annual offer.
“That information is for my members. It is not even for me. I am a courier,” he said.
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