The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, says the discussions between representatives of government and the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have reached 98 per cent completion to finally resolve issues surrounding the ongoing strike.
This is as government sent out fresh invitation for a meeting with university lecturers which will hold today (Tuesday) at the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Abuja.
Spokesperson of the Ministry, Charles Akpan, disclosed that the meeting would begin at 4pm with Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi leading members of ASUU.
Akpan wrote: “The Honorable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris NGIGE will be meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU”
The Minister had, on Monday, while speaking at his Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area country home in Anambra State, during the launch of his free medical outreach at the Community’s Health Center, expressed optimism that tertiary institutions would be re-opened soon.
He expressed the hope that there will be breakthrough in discussions in Tuesday’s meeting with the lecturers who have been on strike since March, adding that the government had met almost all the demands of ASUU.
According to him, the negotiations between the ASUU leadership and the government had reached 98 per cent, noting that it remains only two per cent to be completed.
“We have met about 98 per cent of the request of ASUU.
“Some five to two per cent is what you can call promissory notes.
“So, I am very hopeful that by midnight today, there are some works we are supposed to get on to do.
“They also have some work they are supposed to do on their own side with their people.
“Tomorrow [Tuesday], we will meet in the afternoon and we will compare notes.
“We will put everything on the table and compare.
‘I believe that we might have come to the end of the strike when we meet.
“Well, it is a journey of a thousand miles which you will have to take one step first.
“Tomorrow [Tuesday], all things being equal, we will agree now to agree because we were disagreeing before.
“We disagree to agree and agree to disagree formerly.
“But tomorrow [Tuesday], I hope we will agree to agree.
“Once we do that, schools will re-open in January.”