There is heightened disagreement between the Federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as both parties is yet to fix a date for the resumption of negotiations that will bring about a peaceful resolution of the over eight months old strike.
While addressing the issue in Abuja, Permanent Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echonu maintained that the lingering strike is uncalled for and unnecessary, as there is shared acceptance of so many of the issues. He further said that all the contending issues have been resolved except one.
The Permanent Secretary who stated that work is ongoing stressed that reason is expected to prevail. Mr Echonua reiterated the fact that the overall national interest will be the guiding principle to bring about a quick resolution of the industrial dispute.
However, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi faulted the claims made by the permanent secretary. He revealed that pending issues such as withheld salaries of members, presentation of the visitation panel, the announcement of negotiating teams, among others, have not been resolved.
He called on the federal government to handle the union’s agitation with all the seriousness required, stressing that poor handling of the industrial crisis could lead to another wave of brain drain which will have a crippling effect on the academia and the entire nation.
According to him, members will not return to the classroom until the promises made by the government are clearly and satisfactorily delivered, stressing that there is a difference between addressing issues and delivering on all of the issues.