By Marcus Ikechukwu
Chances of the industrial action embarked upon by university based unions coming to a halt may have become feasible in the coming days, as the Federal Government may have found a way to placate the grieving unions.
This came to the fore on Thursday, after stakeholders emerged from a tripartite meeting summoned at the instance of the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige who gave a clue to this, said, “We have reached some agreements and we hope that by next week, those agreements will be maturing and the different unions will have something to tell their members, so that they can call off the strike. We have put some timelines for some aspects like renegotiation of 2009 agreement in terms of condition of service and wage review.
So, we are hopeful that by next weekend, the unions will see a conclusion of that area”.
Recall that following the extension of the strike by ASUU for another 12 weeks, government took steps to woo stakeholders in the University system back to the negotiating table on Thursday night.
This may be paying off as the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari met with all the unions within the university system.
The meeting which was convened by the President, Muhammadu Buhari is connected to finding amicable resolutions to the crisis rocking the nation’s tertiary institutions, especially the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities SSANU, the Non Academic Staff Union of University and Allied Institutions NASU, the National Association of Academic Technologists NAAT among others.
Among those participating at the meeting includes the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, executive members of the university unions, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and officials of the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission.
Recall that ASUU and sister unions within the Universities downed tools several weeks ago over discrepancies in the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System IPPIS as well as grievances around revitalization funds for institutions.