The Federal Government and the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council has failed to convince the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call off their industrial action.
The meeting, called by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Agboola Gambari, and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, was also co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Revd Dr Supo Ayokunle.
It was gathered that the FG and NIREC attempted to persuade the Union to return to the classrooms during the closed-door technical session, promising that their demands would be met, but the ASUU leadership reportedly said the Government had to meet part of their demands which they could use in convincing their members to call off the ongoing strike.
The meeting, which was held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was attended by other registered Trade Unions in Universities, as well as identified interest groups and civil society groups.
Providing an update on the meeting, Dr Ngige said, the Federal Government had reached an agreement with the Union; adding that certain timelines had been set and that specific parts of the agreements would be implemented from next week.
Speaking earlier, Gambari admonished the University-based Unions to put the interest of students in focus; noting that resources are not finite.
ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osedeke, recalled that NIREC had earlier intervened in the issues last November; noting that the Sultan and CAN leader also met with President Buhari, who set up a three-man Committee which met with the Union for the first time on Thursday.
It would be recalled that ASUU had, on Monday, May 2, 2022, extended its roll-over strike which started on February 14, 2022, by another 12 weeks.