The Federal Government reassured that the prolonged strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would soon come to an end.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, gave the assurance in his opening remarks at the social dialogue between the government and ASUU.
A statement signed by the Deputy Director and Head of Press, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, quoted the minister as saying that those who are wishing for an EndASUU protest, will be disappointed.
He spoke against the backdrop of the ultimatum purportedly issued by Nigerian students to embark on protest if the ASUU strike was not resolved by January 15. Ngige said though he had not received such a letter from the students, even if there was one, the government would disappoint all those wishing for the protest as all the matters in dispute must have been resolved by January 15
According to him, ” Those who want to use the EndASUU protest to destroy public and private property or lecturers homes will be disappointed.
“I am optimistic that the meeting will produce the final result that will make everybody happy,” Ngige said.
“This meeting is fruitful, just like the past ones. This is a journey and the facts are that we have achieved a lot, on both sides, the government and ASUU.
This journey has been tortuous, but I see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Expressing optimism, Ngige informed ASUU that he communicated with the government side before the meeting and got assurance from them that most of the grey areas have been dealt with.
He said, ” We are hopeful that ASUU will then take the report of what we achieved today to their members. We allow social dialogue in line with ILO conventions for all employers and employee, to guide this meeting.”
Also making remarks, the President of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi said they feel for their students who are also their children and no amount of sacrifice would be too much to get the matter resolved as long as the government was consistent with its commitments.
Ogunyemi said they came for the meeting with all sense of responsibility to resolve the crisis in the interest of the students and their members who have been starving.
He, however, reiterated that only the NEC of ASUU could announce the suspension of the strike.
However, Ogunyemi promises to address the general public tomorrow with the hope of announcing the suspension of strike.
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