Nigerian students in Federal government-owned universities will remain out of school as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) did not reach an agreement to end the strike.
ASUU and the government met on Tuesday but their conversation on ending the ongoing strike ended without an agreement.
Consequently, the six-month-old strike by public university lecturers is set to continue.
The striking lecturers had met with the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee set up by the government on Tuesday at the National University Commission in Abuja with high hopes of resolving the impasse.
A senior member of ASUU, who craved anonymity told Channels Television that members of the Briggs renegotiation committee did not come with any new offer on the table.
Instead, the ASUU source said, the committee pleaded with the lecturers to suspend the ongoing strike, with promises that their concerns will be included in the 2023 budget.
According to the source, the meeting, which started at about 12 pm, lasted for about three hours without any agreement reached.
ASUU president Emmanuel Osodeke on Monday night said the union has reached an agreement with the government to adopt the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as the payment platform of lecturers and suspend the strike.
“We have not had any serious communication though they have invited us for a meeting on one issue, tomorrow (Tuesday), which is the issue of renegotiation,” Osodeke said on Channels Television programme Politics Today.
“You know that there are seven issues why we are on strike. They are inviting for discussion on issue of renegotiation, tomorrow, which is renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the government’s failure to implement its demands on salaries and allowances of lecturers, improved funding for universities as well as the adoption of UTAS against the federal government’s preferred payment platform — Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The strike has shut federal government-owned universities for 183 days with President Muhammadu Buhari urging the ASUU to allow students return to class.
Osodeke, however, stated that the government was not sincere in its negotiations.
He noted that “issues of IPPIS and UTAS has been put to rest because the test has been done and it has been agreed with the chief of staff, UTAS will be implemented to cover the university.
“If this government is serious, this strike will not last more than two weeks. If you recall we were going to suppose to go on strike in November, we didn’t start it because NIREC came in and intervened. We conceded to them.” (The Guardian)