Details of Jonathan’s Meeting with ASUU Emerge, Union Prepares to Call-Off Strike
Details of the 13 hours meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities which started at 2.40pm on Monday and Ended at 3am on Tuesday have begun to emerge.
Although both parties at the meeting decline to divulge the details of the discussion in the meeting, Abusidiqu gathered that a key component of the agreement reached by the parties was that the Federal Government would inject N1.1tn into public universities in the next five years.
A reliable source, who made this known, also hinted that the strike would be called off anytime next week.
He said the government team which was led by President Goodluck Jonathan would release N220bn yearly into the sector beginning from 2014.
The source added, “The meeting should be the longest that we have ever had on this crisis but I can tell you that both parties were frank all through the discussions.
“The parties also showed commitment towards ending the crisis. The President in particular showed that he was serious about ending the strike and that was why he offered to release over N1tn to the universities in the next five years.
“The money will be released on a yearly basis at N220bn per annum beginning from 2014. For the outgoing year, the government will only release N100bn and this has been processed.”
He said that the government, in order to show its commitment to a fresh pact, accepted that “the fund (N1.1tn) should domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria”
“The money will be released on a quarterly basis to the universities. So, there won’t be any problem about funding the deal,” the source said.
The National Universities Commission and the Trade Union Congress, according to him, will be the joint guarantors of the agreement while the Minister of Education will be the implementation officer.
The source also said that the government agreed among other things, to revamp the public universities by ensuring that all those issues that always led to strike were dealt with once and for all.
It was learnt that the negotiating team of ASUU led by Dr. Nassir Faggae met on Tuesday night to further deliberate on the deal.
Though the details of the meeting were not known as of 11.22pm on Tuesday, it was gathered that ASUU might call a National Executive Council meeting on or before Saturday where the deal would be tabled before all its branch executives.
The marathon meeting between the President and ASUU is the first since the strike started on July 1. The Presidency took over the negotiations with ASUU on September 19 with Sambo in charge.
The President was joined at the meeting that started at 2.40pm on Monday by Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; the Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike; Wogu among others.
Faggae led the union team which included past presidents such as Prof. Abdulahi Sule-Kano, Prof. Dipo Fashina and Prof. Festus Iyayi.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Abdulawahid Omar and his Trade Union Congress counterpart, Bobboi Kaigama, also attended.
Other members of the delegation were Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, Prof. Victor Osodeke, Prof. Suleiman Abdul, Dr. Victor Igbum and Mr. Michael Odunmoraye.
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