By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The federal government has fixed a meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday to consider the progress made in the implementation of agreements reached to suspend the nine-month strike.
A statement signed by the Deputy Director Press in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Charles Akpan, said the Minister, Senator Chris Ngige, will be meeting with the ASUU leadership.
In the agreement reached with ASUU, government had accepted among others, the union’s demand to pay lecturers’ salaries withheld during their nine-month strike.
It also approved the release of N40 billion as earned allowances to university workers, and N30 billion as revitalisation fund to fix dilapidated infrastructure in the institutions.
Other agreements for which timelines for their implementation were contained in agreement signed between the federal government side and ASUU include: setting up of new visitation panels for universities and taking measures to check proliferation of state universities and poor funding by state governments.
THISDAY had reported that the government side, comprising officials from the Federal Ministries of Finance, Education, Labour and Employment, Accountant General of the Federation and National Universities Commission (NUC) held a meeting last week Thursday to review the implementation timelines.
A source at the meeting said it considered all the issues contained in the agreement with the unions and the level of implementation of the agreements reached with ASUU on one hand and non-teaching staff on the other.
According to the source, the reconvened talks with ASUU will be used to provide the union details of the progress made so far in the implementation of the agreement.
On the issue of the payment of withheld salaries of university lecturers, the source said that most of them have been paid except a few that were omitted.