FG says end of face-off with ASUU in sight

FG says end of face-off with ASUU in sight

The Federal Government said on Sunday all but one issue in its current face-off with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had been resolved.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, disclosed this to journalists after monitoring the Professional Qualifying Examination organised by the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) in Abuja.

He, however, described the varsity lecturers’ eight-month-old industrial action as unnecessary.

The union embarked on an indefinite strike in March over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and the federal government’s failure to fulfill the 2019 agreement between the two parties.

Echono said: “The government is working very closely. We are very concerned and the President is very concerned about this protracted (ASUU) strike which, to so many of us, is unnecessary. We believe there are other ways of getting things done.

“There’s a shared acceptance of so many of the issues and we are at a point that very quickly and soon, it will be resolved. There’s only one issue in contention, really. The other issues have either been resolved or there have been some kind of compromise that worked out.

“We believe that reason will prevail and the overall national interest will be the guiding principle in coming to a quick resolution. I can assure you that work is going on assiduously in this.

“Only two days ago, the ASUU executives were at the ministry to meet with the minister for certain consultations and we felt we needed to tell them exactly what our positions are.

“We will look at the overall interest of the Nigerian people. We know that we also operate in a context of government playing out different segments even in the University setting.

“We have four different unions making demands and we have to balance this. We understand the peculiarities of ASUU and we believe the members are patriotic enough to know when to call it quits and what to call a compromise.”

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